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The Great Challenge (2004)

Burt Kwouk , Chau Belle Dinh , Julien Seri  |  PG-13 |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Burt Kwouk, Chau Belle Dinh, Santi Sudaros, Charles Perriere, Williams Belle
  • Directors: Julien Seri
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: August 1, 2006
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #265,128 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Editorial Reviews

A group of highly accomplished and fearless athletes whose break-neck skills include leaping from rooftops and scaling vertiginous facades, goes to Bangkok to set up a gym and explore the local cityscape. But once there, they encounter a gang of Thai athletes who, betraying their own heritage, have pledged allegiance to the Japanese Yakuza aiming to destroy the local triad and gain control of the city

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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Parkour showcase, stylish, mindless and fun June 18, 2007
I decided early into this dvd that it wasn't a movie so much as it was the audition tape for an entire sport. One of the characters easily summarizes this early in the film by commenting on how excited he is to be promoting his sport, to "show people what they can do."

This movie does an exemplary job of showing people what these kids can do; and they can do some amazing things. Here is a series of really cool stunts, glued together with a hasty plot. Ignore the story- an old chinese man in ghost form guides our heroes on the path to being peaceful warriors, even the ones he isn't related to. What we're looking at here is the action, which more than makes up for our time.

I would recommend this movie to people interested in finding out more about parkour or people who like it enough to want to see some stylish examples of it. Since most of us tend to be action fans, there's plenty of fun fight choreography to watch as well.

As I've mentioned, this movie seemed, to me, to be an audition tape for parkour, or 'free-running', the art of movement. I hope it does well in that regard- parkour is a fascinating development of urban culture, and I'm excited to see what it can do, for stunts and filmmaking, for martial arts, for sports. People really can do some amazing things just with the bodies they were born with. I submit "The Great Challenge' to back up this declaration. Try it and see what I mean.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Stunts November 13, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I saw a preview for this movie and thought it would be a martial arts movie, but it is more of a parkour movie with martial arts in it. If you're familiar with District B13, you probably have a good idea of what to expect from this movie. If you haven't seen B13, it is a movie featuring David Belle, the founder of parkour, an acrobatic running / climbing / jumping sport that was the inspiration for the gameplay in the popular Assassin's Creed video game series. Parkour co-founder Sébastien Foucan also makes an appearance as the fugitive in the chase scene at the beginning of Casino Royale of the James Bond franchise.

While I was somewhat disappointed in the fight scenes, I have to keep in mind that this isn't a martial arts movie. However, I do concede that other facets of the movie made up for this. The stunts and acrobatics were consistent with the precedent that B13 set and the cinematography was surprisingly creative and could be compared artistically to films like The City of Violence. If you're like me though and looking for an ACTUAL martial arts movie, but with an eclectic blend of parkour, gymnastics and breakdancing, I recommend Raging Phoenix.

The plot of this movie is pretty much irrelevant and exists mostly as an excuse to showcase the acrobatic abilities of the cast.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth Running For March 25, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Pierre Morel's excellent District B13 caught our attention with the parkour-meets-martial arts theme so raptly that a film released months prior to it in the same vein got next to no recognition because of it. "The Great Challenge" (AKA "Sons of the Wind") was the original foundation-layer of this interesting subgenre, I think, but truth be told, it cannot stand against its direct competition when it comes to content. Still, that doesn't mean that it isn't one of the more interesting DTV releases flooding the American film market today, with some definite substance to back up its flair. While there's little chance that this one will become your new favorite, it is, at the very least, a fix for parkour lovers who've been left dry since Casino Royale.

The story: a newly-established parkour team travels from France to Thailand to hone their skills, but quickly get caught up in the organized crime scene, which has been tense ever since the forging of a shaky alliance between the Tongs and the Yakuza...

I won't get into it too much, but the plot really is one big mishmash, to the point that you'd have to watch the movie twice to even remember the names of all of the characters. For ease of reference, most of the starring cast belong to the Yamakasi parkour team and were previously featured in a self-named vehicle. With the notable exception of Elodie Yung (District 13: Ultimatum), most of them aren't actors but generally do a good job at furthering the long-winded tale.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars could be much better if the screenplay was better September 13, 2006
what we saw here is a trend that the cool 'district 13' french movie has set up. these urban explorers indeed are amazing, put all the olympic games to shame. but this movie's screenplay really sucks big time, wasted a bunch of cool young men's energy to nowhere. amazing stunts with deadbeat storyline. what a shame.
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