FREERUNNER (Alliance, 2011) D: Lawrence Silverstein, w/ Sean Faris, Danny Dyer. Rating: NN; DVD package: NNNN Rating: NN
This is not a good movie by normal standards. The acting, script and direction are mediocre at best. But it's packed to the brim with freerunning, which makes it watchable if you like that sort of thing. Personally, I do.
You might have seen freerunning, also called parkour, in the foot chase just after the credits in Casino Royale. The real-life sport treats the urban environment as a jungle gym, displaying some of the bodies-in-motion grace of old-school kung fu. The micro-budget filmmaking helps that along by making it clear that we're watching real people perform amazing feats in real time.
The story involves a billionaire criminal who kidnaps a gang of freerunners, fits them with exploding collars and forces them to race across Cleveland so his depraved buddies can place bets. There's also a heroine in peril and masked ninjas to make sure the right runner wins. All of this provide comic relief and helps keep the pace up.
The sport and runners Ryan Doyle, Tony Vo and John Bernecker are all over the five docs in the extras package, where you learn that it's done mostly without safety wires. There's also an intro to Ninja, a fun game you can play with your friends.
But you'll find better freerunning in District 13 and its sequel, District 13 Ultimatum.
EXTRAS Making-of doc, stunts doc, bloopers, Ninja game doc, freerunning footage. English, French audio. English subtitles.