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Yamakasi (2001)

Yamakasi - Les samouraïs des temps modernes (original title)
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 ... See full summary »

Directors:

Ariel Zeitoun, Julien Seri (as Julien Sèri)

Writers:

Luc Besson (scenario), Philippe Lyon (scenario & dialogue) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Châu Belle Dinh Châu Belle Dinh ... Les Yamakasi - Baseball (Oliver Chen) (as Chau Belle)
Williams Belle Williams Belle ... Les Yamakasi - L'Araignée (Bruno Duris)
Malik Diouf ... Les Yamakasi - La Belette (Malik N'Diaye)
Yann Hnautra Yann Hnautra ... Les Yamakasi - Zicmu (Ousmane Dadjacan)
Guylain N'Guba-Boyeke Guylain N'Guba-Boyeke ... Les Yamakasi - Rocket (Abdou N'Goto)
Charles Perrière Charles Perrière ... Les Yamakasi - Sitting Bull (Ousmane Bana)
Laurent Piemontesi Laurent Piemontesi ... Les Yamakasi - Tango (Michel Lucas)
Maher Kamoun Maher Kamoun ... Vincent
Bruno Flender Bruno Flender ... Michelin
Amel Djemel ... Aila
Afida Tahri Afida Tahri ... Fatima
Abdelkrim Bahloul Abdelkrim Bahloul
Nassim Faid Nassim Faid ... Djamel (as Nassim Faïd)
Pascal Léger Pascal Léger ... Commissaire Orsini
Frédéric Pellegeay Frédéric Pellegeay ... Fretin
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Storyline

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 <bobcat3003@msn.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Drama | Crime

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French | Arabic

Release Date:

4 April 2001 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Yamakasi See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

At around the 48th minute of the film, when there is a dog chase in the richly decorated house, two members of the crew are visible with their heads jumping out on each side of the screen. See more »

Connections

References Mission: Impossible (1966) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fails to realise the potential of Parkour
23 January 2006 | by simon_boothSee all my reviews

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.


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