The best thing, worst thing, and main thing about the 3D dance competition movie “Battle of the Year” in about the time it takes to watch the trailer.
Poor Sawyer. He gets off that stupid island and can’t find work except as a dance coach… or an actor in awful movies.
“Battle of the Year” is a dance competition movie starring Josh Holloway as the coach charged with putting a rag tag bunch of kids together to form the best B-Boy dancing crew in the world. Their training culminates with a shot at the Battle of the Year competition in France where they will have to band together to beat the all powerful South Korean team. If it sounds like every other sports movie ever made, well it kinda is, except this time there’s breakdancing involved, and I love me some breakdancing, especially when it’s top notch talent like is on display here.
Seriously, these guys are amazing. I was slack jawed everytime the beat dropped and these guys started pulling off move after move after move. I kinda liked that the team was formed a bit like a reality show with one finalist getting kicked off every week til they had their final crew for the the BOTY. That’s right I called Battle of the Year, the BOTY, cause I’m just cool like that. It’s almost as if you were watching a dramatic retelling of an all BBOY version of So You Think You Can Dance, and that part of it is actually kind of fun.
The problem is every once in a while they have to stop dancing. and then the movie falls completely apart. It’s not just that they are bad actors, which they are, but these bad actors spend half this movie doing spoken exposition, and completely unnecessary exposition at that. Please! Trust your audience! You don’t have to have a character explain everything you think we need to know. Of course it wasn’t just that exposition, the writing in general was awful. and you know what? it’s almost like they knew it. There were a handful of times they would try to launch a preemptive cliche strike by having the character say, “I know it’s a cliche, but….” and then say something well, cliche. Really guys?! You can’t come up with another way to say “There’s no I in Team?” cause just warning me ahead of time that a cliche is coming won’t absolve you of that sin. It made the whole thing feel like one of those old school music video prologues where the characters in the video would do some sort of dialogue leading into it, but you knew it was really all about the music video part anyway so you let it go. I’ve decided That’s what “Battle of the Year” is…. the long form version of “Beat It”.
Overall, Battle of the Year is actually kind of fun while they’re dancing, especially if you love Hip Hop and B Boying, but is so overloaded with horrible acting, writing and story cliche that I can’t bring myself to go any higher than a C-.
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