If you’re interested in parkour, there are many things you can do to learn more about it and eventually practice it yourself. One of the options you have is to watch a parkour movie. Luckily, there are many parkour movies out there, each providing a different perspective on this discipline. In today’s guide, we’re going to talk about 8 of the best parkour movies you should watch, starting with the oldest one and leading to some of the most recent options.
1. District B13 (2004)
One of the very first movies to feature parkour, District B13 is written and directed by Luc Besson. This movie helped popularize parkour, and Besson has a lot to do with its success. District B13 is set in Paris of the near future, where part of the city has been abandoned by the authorities due to the high crime rate.
The movie stars David Belle as Leito, the protagonist. Belle is well-known in the parkour world and considered by many the founder of this discipline. An undercover policeman called Damien Tomaso is played by another parkour artist, Cyril Raffaelli. Many parkour fans consider this movie a standard for all action movies involving parkour. It was compared to Ong-Bak, as well as Escape from New York.
2. Casino Royale (2006)
Only two years after District B13, Casino Royal brought parkour fans even more scenes in which parkour was key. This movie turned the discipline into a real visual spectacle. One particular scene that comes to mind is the one in which MI6 agent 007 played by Daniel Craig has to chase the villain of the movie. It’s no secret that chase scenes allow for the use of a lot of parkour sequences, and this movie makes no exception.
3. Live Free or Die Hard (2007)
The fourth installment in the Die Hard franchise, Live Free or Die Hard presents Bruce Willis as the reluctant and cranky John McClane. While the plot of the movie isn’t specifically focused on parkour, rather on cyber criminals who are torturing the United States with their abilities to hack computers, there’s one particular sequence in the movie worth watching if you’re a parkour enthusiast.
The sequence we’re talking about is one in which McClane is fighting the villain of the movie, Rand. Rand is played by Cyril Raffaelli, whom we’ve already mentioned for being a skilled parkour artist. His skills are made obvious by this scene, in which McClane calls him a hamster, precisely due to his ability to move with such speed and agility.
4. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time isn’t an extremely popular movie. In fact, when it appeared in 2010, it got lackluster reviews. Not to mention that it’s also been accused of whitewashing, due to the fact that the actor playing the main Persian character was white actor Jake Gyllenhaal. Despite these less than desirable facts, there’s one thing that stands out in this movie, and that are the parkour scenes that it contains.
If you’re wondering who we should thank for the parkour action in this movie, the answer is David Belle. Another important figure that we’ve mentioned previously, David Belle choreographed all the stunts you can see in the movie. As a result, his experience with parkour is easily noticeable in the scenes that involve this practice.
5. Freerunner (2011)
As the title of the movie suggests, Freerunner focuses more on freerunning, which is another type of running discipline. However, that doesn’t mean the movie doesn’t feature parkour scenes as well, or wouldn’t be interesting to a parkour aficionado. The plot of the movie presents eight freerunners who get kidnapped by a mobster. The mobster places explosive collars on their necks, which will blow up if they don’t manage to cross the entire city in one hour.
As you can imagine, such a plot provides the perfect context for countless freerunning and parkour scenes. One of the main characters of this parkour movie is played by Ryan Doyle, who is a well-known freerunner. His experience, coupled with the setting, give way to some unforgettable parkour and freerunning action.
6. The Bourne Legacy (2012)
The fourth Bourne movie might not feature the same Jason Bourne we were used to, Matt Damon, but it does feature something for all parkour fans out there to enjoy. There are a couple of chase scenes in the movie where we can notice some unforgettable parkour action. The stuntman behind these amazing scenes is none other than Levi Meeuwenberg, who is another American parkour practitioner recognized as being extremely talented.
7. Brick Mansions (2014)
The second-to-last film the late Paul Walker worked on, Brick Mansions is actually based on District B13, the first movie on today’s list. David Belle stars in this movie as well, playing the same streetwise crime fighter. Paul Walker is the undercover cop who was played by Cyril Raffaelli in the original movie. While the reviews for this parkour movie aren’t great, and most people don’t consider it to be as good as the original French version, if you’re into parkour, you should still watch it. Belle’s undeniable experience with this discipline is what makes the parkour scenes so enjoyable.
8. Tracers (2015)
Finally, we decided to end today’s top with a parkour movie in which this discipline is the main element. The movie Tracers, starring Taylor Lautner, tells the story of Cam, a young man that joins a group of parkour practitioners. The people in the group use their parkour skills to perform robberies. Another movie that doesn’t have great reviews, Tracers is still worth watching for its dedication to parkour and impressive parkour scenes.
These eight parkour movies are some of the best movies that include this discipline and its practice, even if in the slightest. We hope today’s guide has managed to provide you with plenty of options for a parkour-themed movie night. Who knows, maybe you’ll even find your next favorite parkour movie among the options above. Don’t forget to let us know what you thought of these movies once you watch them!