Last year a team of French Free Runners captivated Londoners when they scaled some of the city's most famous landmarks from the Albert Hall to HMS Belfast for Channel 4's Jump London . This time they've decided to take on the whole country in a new project that ranges from Edinburgh to Cardiff. Free Running, or Le Parkour, involves literally leaping from roof to roof in a death-defying, yet beautiful, series of jumps, slides and somersaults. It is a discipline combining an extraordinary athleticism and lack of fear - created by Sebastien Foucan and his friends - that has spread across the world. Foucan sees Free Running as more than a spectacle, it is a way of life, with a spiritual dimension plucked from popular culture and allowing an escape from everyday reality. For Jump Britain , Foucan and his team are joined by members of the burgeoning UK Parkour scene as they tackle some of the UK's most iconic sites including Edinburgh Castle and the Forth Rail Bridge in Scotland, the ... Written by
As before, rather pompous talking about a load of blokes jumping around, but made up for by impressive action when it comes
Following the success of the Jump London project on channel 4 in 2003, Sebastien Foucan plans to bring his discipline of Parkour (Free Running) to the rest of the UK, meeting other free runners along the way. Picking even more extravagant locations, including the ICC in Birmingham, the Giants Causeway, the roof of Millennium Stadium in Wales, South Bank and others, Foucan performs his extraordinary skills while being joined by others.
Having been impressed by Jump London, it was natural that I tune in for the follow up programme despite just thinking the whole Free Running thing is just a kids game played by adults in an extreme way. For this reason I was bored here by the interviews and chats about the "discipline" or "sport" because they come across as being a bit full of themselves and they only look silly trying to present this stuff as having a deeper meaning than just being fun and exciting. As before, the talking is still OK but it feels like (and is) mere filler before the action kicks in. The action is impressive as before but is less so for being a bit watered down here. Of course seeing Sebastien jumping between the two section of the Millennium Stadium roof as it pulls apart is impressive but it is contrasted with a load of other "Free Runners" who are not as impressive as the originator and do nothing more than sort of hang off some kerbs and so on! Although it lacks the impressive conclusion of the first film it is still impressive in some sections though and worth watching.
As before though, the film is best when it let Foucan himself just do his stuff. He is a nice guy and seems to have a good sense of humour as well as an amazing body. Watching gymnasts doing this stuff on bars is not as impressive as seeing Foucan doing a handstand on the edge of a building three stories up. It is not something I ever want to do and I do worry he will die sooner rather than later, but it is still impressive and I did find myself exclaiming out loud on a couple of his moves. The other runners are mostly as good but the film wastes time with others (added to the group) who don't add any value to the film.
Overall this is not quite as good as the first film and has the same weaknesses. The script has us being assured that this is a massive sport and very important where really it is just a few guys running around the place (and the video game looks rubbish); however the jumps are still impressive at times and it is worth watching for them alone. My advice though, is to just tape the film and the fast-forward the sections of it that are pompous talking you'll enjoy it a lot more.
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