We Found It On Netflix: ‘Run,’ The Movie About The Teenaged Parkour Expert Jewel Thief

Editor-at-Large
05.21.14 35 Comments
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There are three things you need to know about the movie Run:

The first thing is that Run has the the single greatest Netflix summary in history. You probably think I am exaggerating for emphasis. I assure you I am not. Here, look:

A father and son who make a living by using parkour to pull off robberies decide to go straight, but not before they attempt one last job.

Parkour. A father and son use parkour to pull off robberies. And they’re going straight after one last job. Which is another parkour robbery. Yes. Put this movie — the one that sentence describes — directly into my veins.

Unfortunately, the second thing you need to know about the movie Run is that its Netflix description is a lie. Actually, no. “Lie” is a little strong. Let’s go with “misleading in unforgivable ways.” You probably read it and pictured, like, an expert parkour thief and his precocious son robbing museums and doing lots of flipsies and twisties in the process. Or an expert parkour thief and his wise old parkour master father working together one last time before the father retires for good, possibly because he met a sassy grandma-type who wants him to move to Florida with her. I am sad to report that neither of those are correct. The father doesn’t even do parkour. It’s bullsh*t.

The third thing you need to know about the movie Run is that there is there is so much parkour in it. There is. So. Much. Parkour in this movie. If I were to ballpark it, I’d say that at least 20 minutes of the film’s 90 minute runtime is just people silently doing parkour, often for no plot-based reason. And that doesn’t count the speeches about the joys and/or merits of parkour, of which there are at least three. Again: There is so much parkour in this movie.

But there’s also a plot. Kind of. Allow me to explain.

0 - daniel

intrinsic value films

Quick background: Daniel Lombardi is a teenage parkour prodigy. His father is a career criminal who was injured years ago in a gunfire-related attack that also killed his mother. Now, Daniel and his father bounce around from city to city, with his father planning robberies and Daniel using his parkour skills to parkour into jewelry stores and away from the police and such. That’s what they meant by “A father and son who make a living by using parkour to pull off robberies.” See? Technically accurate. Just very, very misleading.

But anyway, after the heat gets a little too hot, they up and leave for New York in the middle of the night, despite his father claiming they’d never go back because that’s where all the bad juju with the bullets went down. It’s almost like there’s an unsettled conflict back there that may or not drive the entire second and third act of the film.

1 - parkourteam

On Daniel’s first day at his new high school in New York (because you really can’t waste time on plot development when there are still four separate parkour montages to get to), the dude up there in the Angry Birds hoodie, whose character is named “Mark Baltimore,” comes parkouring through the bathroom window while Daniel’s in there. Turns out he’d been ditching class. Or something. Whatever. What’s important is that Daniel covered for him and now they’re BFF and Mark introduced him to his friends, who are A PARKOUR TEAM!

BUT!

Daniel can’t let on that he knows parkour, for crime-related reasons, so he has to play dumb while they’re all doing twistyflips and flippytwists and delivering their monologues about what parkour “is” and “means” and “feels like.” That’s the team up there. I call the guy on the right Parkour Rufio.

Things are going great for Daniel.

2 - fire

But then there’s a fire! At their secret parkour hideout! Which they had been hoping to renovate with the winnings from an upcoming parkour tournament! That they’ve been practicing for! Because, in addition to being a “one last job” movie, it’s also a “Let’s save the rec center!” movie.

AND MARK BALTIMORE IS STUCK IN THERE.

So Daniel is forced to abandon his parkour-rube cover and parkour his way into the building and parkour Mark to safety. You would think, maybe, after this happens, that everyone would get very suspicious of him for lying about his skills for so long, even though he had no apparent reason to. You would be wrong, mostly.

3 - girl

In fact, not only is Mark Baltimore not suspicious of Daniel (who is actually going by “Sean” at this new school, because secrets), he instead (a) starts a slow clap for him in the hallway of the school the next day, and (b) demands that Daniel go on a date with his sister, Emily Baltimore, who Daniel has been making googly eyes at for the entire movie to this point. And do I mean that he demands it, because he doesn’t even ask Emily. He just says “I’m gonna give you what you’ve been dreaming of ever since we met: a date with my sister.” Like he’s her pimp or something. It’s so weird. And it’s even weirder because he did it immediately after interrupting and poo-pooing Emily’s VERY LEGITIMATE line of questioning about how and why Daniel hid his parkour skills from his parkour-loving friends on the parkour team, which made her the only character in the movie to do so.

Anyway, guess what Daniel and Emily do for their date. Guess.

3a

PARKOUR DATE! EMILY IS A PARKOUR EXPERT, TOO! OBVIOUSLY!

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