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Jump London Review

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by Phil Hinton May 1, 2004

    Jump London is a strange hour long documentary originally aired on Channel 4 and now available on DVD. It follows the sport of free running or as the French call it “Le Parkour,” the sport of running and jumping across urban areas in an energetic and graceful manner. Many will be asking what on earth this activity is all about and I would have to point you towards a promo that the BBC used about a year ago. If you remember the man in the office, taking his shirt off and then running and jumping across the roof tops of London to escape rush hour, before sitting down to watch the TV, then this is free running.

    The sports creator Sebastien Foucan and his team of three head for London to film the set piece of this documentary and are given free reign to use 14 of the cities most famous buildings and urban areas for their performance. Starting at the Royal Albert Hall and then across nearly every famous site from there on including Marble Arch, the Shakespeare theatre and the millennium bridge, the footage cuts together to bring the sport alive in a familiar setting.

    The main question I had after watching this admittedly captivating sport was why? This is a dangerous pass time where people are jumping great distances, performing aerobics on top of 325ft drops and jumping over seven foot gaps in the roof lines, yet they do it for sport. Some comparison is given to extreme sports as an example of what it's all about, but to be honest I can't see it becoming that popular. The documentary is different and fascinating to watch and the guys have a great talent at running and jumping, but this is strictly a watch once affair.