Dance Flick

Dance Flick


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

When is a film not a film? When the end result is nothing more than a string of sketches thrown together, that’s when. Such is latest from the Wayans brothers – although Wayans’ dynasty might be more appropriate, since there can barely be a family member who is not involved somewhere.

To describe what is going on here as a plot is akin to branding a worm the Loch Ness Monster but, what tenuous narrative there is draws on everything from Save The Last Dance to High School Musical to Little Miss Sunshine, to tell the story of a blossoming romance between hip-hop black kid Thomas (Damon Wayans Jnr) and white would-be-ballet dancer from the burbs Megan (Shoshana Bush).

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As a series of Saturday Night Live Sketches, one or two segments might manage to raise a smile but the humour is puerile at best. Amid the notions of a baby with a sexually transmitted disease and every form of toilet humour known to man – laughter is not the gag-reflex evoked here - there are one or two quite well-written word-based jokes but they are few and far between. Still, you cannot dismiss a film simply for low-brow humour.

The main problem is its sheer laziness. Where the likes of Airplane! and Naked Gun clearly had a soft spot for the genre they were satirising and used that to cleverly subvert expectations and provide surprises, everything about Dance Flick is tame. The punchlines can be seen miles before they arrive and almost all the scenes outstay their welcome. The feeling of being little more than a collection of sketches is exacerbated by gaping holes in continuity, which serve no amusement purpose and again smack of idleness on the part of the film's creators.

When it comes to acting honours, the timing, like the humour is off, although Essence Atkins – as Megan’s gym slip mom pal, who brings her kid to school – shows enough charm and comic potential to make you think she took this job as a dare. Sadly, the film has, at the time of writing made $26,671,346 worldwide, which, given the fact it appears to have been shot for about 5p, means it almost certainly won’t be the last. This far beneath the bottom of the barrel, the only way is up.

Reviewed on: 27 Aug 2009
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Dancefloor lavatorial lampoonery.
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Director: Damien Dante Wayans

Writer: Keenen Ivory Wayans, Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Craig Wayans, Damien Dante Wayans

Starring: Shoshana Bush, Damon Wayans Jr., Essence Atkins, Affion Crockett, Luis Dalmasy Jr., Chris Elliott, Christina Murphy, David Alan Grier, Amy Sedaris, Kim Wayans, Lauren Bowles, Brennan Hillard, George Gore II, Chelsea Makela, Ross Thomas

Year: 2009

Runtime: 83 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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