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Film / Freerunner

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Freerunner is a 2011 film by Lawrence Silverstein starring Sean Faris, Danny Dyer, Tamer Hassan, and Ryan Doyle about a group of freerunners forced to join a deadly game. Ryan (Sean Faris) is a young man in Metro City who has a hot girlfriend, a menial job as a janitor, and an ailing grandfather. He also participates in a competitive freerunning contest organized by Mr. Reese (Tamar Hasan), especially against rival Finch (Ryan Doyle) where the participants have to collect three flags in various locations and make it back to the finish lines. Their progress is tracked by a combination of bodycams on the runners and webcams mounted along the likely routes. The rules don't outlaw physical altercations, so possession of the flags often leads to highly acrobatic fights.

Ryan chooses to break the rules and bet everything he has on himself in hopes of getting his girlfriend, Chelsea, and his grandfather out of Metro City. Unfortunately, in the process of enacting his plan, he and seven other runners are abducted mid-race and charged with another contest, a deadly one. Fitted with electronic collars loaded with explosives, they have sixty minutes to reach all three target locations. The winner will receive a million dollars. The losers will die. And, of course, the game is rigged...


This film exhibits the following tropes:

  • Briefcase Full of Money: The prize for the winner is one million dollars, delivered in a classic Zero Halliburton brand brushed-aluminum model briefcase.
  • Car Cushion: Early on, a freerunner gets kicked off of a roof and lands on a car, crushing it. He doesn't survive the fall.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Ryan has an incident early in the film where a scanner repeatedly fails to read a packet of condoms and the system eventually crashes. He later uses this to crash one of the scanners, resulting in Mr. Franks being unable to trigger his collar remotely and also protecting him from deviation from the route.
  • Combat Parkour: The races involve a fair amount of combat, most of it involving large amounts of acrobatics.
  • Deadly Game: This is the latest iteration for a group of bored wealthy men.
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  • Explosive Leash: The collar is set to explode a) after 60 minutes unless all three scanners are reached, b) if the runners deviate from the designated course for more than five minutes, c) if the last runner to a checkpoint doesn't scan in within 3 seconds, or d) if Mr. Franks feels like triggering the collar. One freerunner manages to accidentally find a fifth way by falling into an obstacle and damaging his collar.
  • I Have Your Girlfriend: Mr. Franks has Chelsea abducted in an attempt to dissuade Ryan from trying anything funny.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: One of the freerunners gets pushed off of an obstacle and falls on a pipe on the roof, getting impaled through the chest.
  • Karma Houdini: The various wealthy betters escape entirely without consequence.
  • Le Parkour: The foundation of the movie is that the competitors are "freerunners" who try to race in the most efficient manner, although they still do a lot of unnecessary flips.
  • Prove I Am Not Bluffing: One of the contestants has his collar triggered just to show that Mr. Franks has the capability.
  • Trojan Gauntlet: Ryan has an incident early in the film where a scanner repeatedly fails to read a packet of condoms while the cashier yells out her lack of progress to her coworkers.
  • Your Head A-Splode: The explosion is never directly depicted on film when the collars go off, but the aftermath is quite messy.


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