7 guys from Paris' suburbs like challenges like climbing tall buildings and doing parkour - especially with cops/flics chasing them. When a kid fan urgently needs a heart the Yamakasis try to find a way.
Gravity or Police, these guys don't believe in any law. Idolised by the youth of Paris as much as they're hated by the police, they are the Yamakasis, modern samurais. With acrobatic skillfulness and adrenaline pumping belief in their own immortality, they throw themselves out from incredible heights, and jump from roof to roof. Locked doors and "No Trespassing"-signs become irresistible challenges. But one day, whilst mimicking one of the Yamakasi's more dangerous stunts, a young fan gets injured. Only one operation can save the boy, an operation that his family can't afford.Written by
Torben Skov <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Often mistaken for Japanese, the word yamakasi is actually taken from the Lingala language, which is spoken in the two Congos. Ya makási can mean "strong body, strong spirit, strong person", though in French usage its meaning is closer to "high energy". See more »
(at around 1h 20 mins) You can see the boom mic as the doctor pulls away and aims the gun at everybody. See more »
The YAMAKASI are a bunch of kids who practise what is variously known as Parkour and Free Running, a sort of sport/art/philosophy involving the development of skills for the traversal of urban environments in interesting ways (http://www.parkour.com/).
YAMAKASI the film is a Luc Besson production that basically provides a vehicle for 7 of these kids to show their stuff, in the pretence of helping a young kid who needs a heart transplant. It actually feels rather like a kids film, with larger than life characters (a bit of a keystone cops thing going on) and a message about being a bit rebellious but in a good way, or something.
The group are real life practitioners of Parkour, not professional actors - which kind of shows, though not in a particularly bad way - they're not wooden, but don't exactly express deep or complicated emotions.
Given that the film is basically a vehicle for Parkour, it's somewhat disappointing that not all that much of it is shown. There's some building scaling which is impressive but not particularly cinematic, then a bunch of antics where very little "free running" is shown - there are just a couple of scenes which show the potential the film could have had, towards the end. That potential has recently been realised much more dramatically in the film BANLIEUE 13, where one of the founders of Parkour is teamed up with martial artist Cyril Raffaelli for some truly original and sometimes incredible action sequences which show how Parkour could really be the foundation of a whole new action style. It's a shame that YAMAKASI, for whatever reason, didn't seem to know what to do with it. I'm hoping that the semi-sequel LES FILS DU VENT will put the group's talents to better use.
23 of 27 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this