Posts Tagged ‘parkour’

You Got Served: Beat the World

Tuesday, November 17th, 2020

“You know dancing is our only way out.”

I was under the misimpression that YOU GOT SERVED was a big franchise like STEP UP. Unfortunately it turns out YOU GOT SERVED: TAKE IT TO THE STREETS (2004) is just an hour-long instructional dance video, and YOU GOT SERVED: BEAT THE WORLD (2011) is really an unrelated Canadian dance movie that they rebranded as a YOU GOT SERVED here in the states. (Elsewhere you might find it as BEAT THE WORLD or THIS IS BEAT.) So we don’t get to find out what happens after they shoot the Li’l Kim video.

Think of how many unlikely phenomenons could’ve been cut down with an unrelated part 2! This could have easily been the fate of THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS, UNDISPUTED and so many others.

The good news is that this one is honestly more fun than YOU GOT SERVED. I knew that would be the case when it opened with a parkour chase across the rooftops. It seems very intense but turns out to be a demonstration. “You know we’re gonna be the first crew to bring free running to hip hop.” Yuson (Tyrone Brown, BEWARE THE GONZO) has recruited Justin (Chase Armitage, DEATH RACE 2), a freerunner from London, to help his crew, Fusion, create a unique routine for the impending Beat the World international dance competition.

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Brick Mansions

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

tn_brickmansionsMan, say what you will about Luc Besson, he’s still got his exploitation producer thing going, and he’s squeezed more cinema out of Parkour than Cannon ever got out of breakdancing. Back in the late ’90s the LEON director saw dudes bouncing off the streets, walls and rooftops of France, and while other people might’ve thought “I hope that guy doesn’t fall [in French],” his reaction was “I gotta put this shit in an action movie!” So by ’98 Besson, as writer and producer, had Parkour in a foot chase through traffic in TAXI 2, and by ’01 he’d done a whole movie called YAMAKASI starring some of the pioneers of the artform.

Even then he knew he could do more with it so in ’04 he co-wrote and produced BANLIEUE 13, or DISTRICT B13 as we call it here. It was kind of an ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK riff but in a near future extrapolation of the Parisian suburbs, and done as a buddy movie. A supercop has to team with a criminal from the walled-off District 13.

For director, Besson used TRANSPORTER cinematographer Pierre Morel, who later did TAKEN and FROM PARIS WITH LOVE for him. There was also a not as good sequel in 2009, directed by the guy who did the making-of TV special for Besson’s THE BIG BLUE.
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Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

tn_freerunnerIf a DTV movie comes out and it’s called FREERUNNER, it’s gotta have some parkour stunts in it, right? So what can you do, you give it a shot. Or at least I do. I remember a couple years ago Channing Tatum from FIGHTING was supposed to star in a movie called PARKOUR. That never happened but I guess we have its would-be-counterpart here, starring the guy from NEVER BACK DOWN.

I forgot all about it after Michael Jai White’s NEVER BACK DOWN 2, but the star of part 1, Sean Faris, looks and acts an awful lot like Tom Cruise. But FREERUNNER is pretty low-rent for Tom Cruise even when he was younger. It’s not good, but it’s not the usual type of churned-out-dispassionately bad DTV, it’s more of a scrappy independent we-gotta-get-this-shot-somehow production. It’s artisan crap. (read the rest of this shit…)

Banlieue 13 – Ultimatum

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

tn_b13uSo I watched this poorly subtitled Chinese import of BANLIEUE 13 – ULTIMATUM, which I think is about to be released dubbed in the US as DISTRICT 13: ULTIMATUM, the sequel to what we call DISTRICT B13, which pretty much translates to “District District 13.” This one reunites Cyril Rafaelli (last seen tossed into a fan by John McClane) and David Belle for more near-future parkour and martial arts action.

It’s 3 years later and the government has made good on its promise for regime change, but nothing else. The district is still walled in, and the cops still treat everybody like shit. Leito (Belle) doesn’t want to let it go so he has a hobby of strolling around casually attaching bombs to walls and blowing shit up. Then he gets chased by cops and the gangs, or “clans,” get pissed at him because they sort of like their lives behind the walls and don’t want him fucking it up. (read the rest of this shit…)

District B13

Wednesday, April 4th, 2007

(originally BANLIEUE 13)

I’m way behind on this movie. I remember a couple years ago I went to see some movie at the film festival here, and this one was just getting out on the same screen. I saw some people I knew coming out and I asked them how it was. They said it was ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK except in France, and with some weird martial art where they run up walls and shit. I knew it was a Luc Besson joint so I thought wait a minute, is this related to that YAMAKASI movie I saw? The art of climbing and flipping?

Now it’s years later and the movie has long since played American theaters and DVD players in a dubbed version called DISTRICT B13. The advertising campaign has tried to convince us we know what the word “parkour” means. Another practicioner of the art has battled (and lost) the new, badass James Bond. Now it’s old news, the excitement has worn off, so I saw it now. That’s just how I roll. (read the rest of this shit…)

Yamakasi – Les samouraïs des temps modernes

Tuesday, January 1st, 2002

This movie is about as corny as they make em, but I kinda liked it. Supposedly the stars here are a real group of young fellas who are known for climbing up buildings, jumping off buildings, sliding down ropes and all that sort of shit. Sort of like the poor french man’s cirque du soleil.

So Luc Besson found out about them and decided to make a movie showcasing their talents. This is kinda what Besson does if you think about it. I haven’t seen KISS OF THE DRAGON yet but that was his attempt to make a better English language Jet Li vehicle than ROMEO MUST DIET. FIFTH ELEMENT was a vehicle for the detailed sci-fi world he had created when he was in boarding school. And what was THE MESSENGER if not a vehicle for his lolita bride of the time, Milla Jovovich, who he manages to make look stunning even with a pageboy haircut and splattered with blood and dirt. Now he’s doing the same thing but for some guys who run around and jump off things and what not. (read the rest of this shit…)