Boiling Point: F#@% Free Runners!

I just came out of Punisher: War Zone and I’ve got plenty to be mad about (more on that little later in the day), but one trend in Hollywood, present in this film, has got my blood boiling.  Free runners.  Fuck free runners.  I hope that I never have to see that bullshit on the screen ever again.  Please please please, enough!  This shit isn’t cool anymore.

People running and jumping has always been a part of movies.  And some characters should be able to do it, I guess.  I like seeing Jackie Chan bounce from wall to wall and go over a fence.  That’s, I guess, as efficient as anything at getting over a tall wall.  I like seeing Tony Jaa dive through flaming barbed wire.  I like martial artists being athletic.  I don’t like every damn bad guy being able to do wall flips, jump 20 foot chasms, or vault through windows.  Am I to believe these guys, in between being criminals, are running around parks and playgrounds practicing?  And why is this so wide spread?  In War Zone there is a gang of guys who like jumping off roofs and shit.  For fun.  While they run from cops.  And not functional moves, just being idiots.  Even Looney Bin Jim, someone who is emaciated from being tied down in an asylum is executing wall flips.  WTF?  In Casino Royale there is an awesome chase scene, but why is a bomb maker an expert free runner?  (I actually don’t mind it in this film, but am showing how wide spread it is)  Who here loves Die Hard? Everyone right?  Who hear thinks John McClane fighting a French free-runner is stupid and should not be in a Die Hard movie?  Everyone right?  Jason Bourne is a cool spy, but for once could he take the stairs and not climb a pipe?  Or how about taking the streets instead of jumping 15 feet across and into a small window?

When did it become part of everyone’s training regime to run and jump through small holes?  Flip off buildings?  Why the hell are the characters doing this?  It doesn’t make sense.  Free running is like skateboarding without a skateboard.  It doesn’t make sense for everyone to know how to do it.  Most people, when they fight or jump, are a little bit clumsy.  They’re not acrobats.  That is real.  Every single gangster in the fight should not be back flipping off railings or doing monkey kicks off walls.  This is ridiculous.

I get it.  Parkour looks cool.  It’s neat.  But I’m also tired of it.  I’m tired of seeing it.  I’m tired of everyone and their grandma being able to do it.  If, rarely, there is someone who can do it – ok.  But it’s an action movie staple now and it bores me, it infuriates me.  If you want a whole movie about free running, great, check out District B13.  That’s the style of that film.  It made sense.  It doesn’t make sense for 98% of everyone else to be able to do it.  And why do the people who do it turn to crime?  And why back flip while making a get-away?  I’m just so angry!

So maybe I’m the only one hating on free running.  Maybe it’s cool as iced shit to everyone else.  But I’m done with it, I’m tired of it.  I don’t want to see regular guys jumping buildings and rolling into a running leap.  I don’t want to see burglars side flipping down stairwells.  All I know is that every time I see some random off-the-street thug execute some crazy acrobatic shit, I go well past my boiling point.

What do you think of free-running in films?

Robert Fure is many things: horror expert, ruggedly handsome man of the world, witty prose composer, and writer of his own biography page. Beneath the bravado is a scared little boy, ready to grow into an awesome man and make lies about a scared little boy inside of him. Wait a minute...

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