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Battle of the Year: The Dream Team

Director: Benson Lee
Screenplay: Brin Hill, Chris Parker
Cast: Laz Alonso, Chris Brown, Josh Holloway, Josh Peck
Genre: Drama Music
Rating: **
Venue: Ster Kinekor Maerua Mall Cine 3

Rating Score
* – Poor
** – Average
*** – Good
**** – Very Good
***** – Excellent

I was so excited when I saw the trailer for Battle of the Year: The Dream Team, not only because it promised an array of handsome young men who know their way around the dance floor, but because it is a dance movie and God knows I love dance movies. Little did I know then that it would leave me begging for it to stop instead of me begging for more. The plot of the film is simple. Battle of the Year (B-Boy dance competition)attracts all the best teams from around the world, but the Americans haven’t won in fifteen years, (quite shocking because America is the home of B-Boying). Dante (Laz Alonso) enlists his friend Blake (Josh Holloway) to assemble a team of the best dancers and bring the trophy back to America where it started. Blake is a former hotshot basketball coach whose life is now in shambles after the loss of his wife and son in a car accident. He knows nothing about dancing, but has the heart and wit of a true leader which becomes his strongest attribute. He then enlists the help of an assistant Franklyn who is played by Josh Peck of ‘Drake and Josh’ fame and a female choreographer to get the boys ready for the battle of the year dance competition. It has a promising start but quickly gets rather annoying, boring and a little to busy with all the jumping and bouncing around. The entire film is about these gorgeous young men throwing themselves in the air and spinning on the ground (a teenage boy’s and girl’s dream come true). Don’t get me wrong the dance moves are electric, I even found myself bobbing my head once or twice as they danced but truth of the matter is Battle of the Year is only appealing to the younger generation, who does not mind watching a plotless film. What makes it even more of an eye sore to watch is the fact that it is full of wanna-be actors who aren’t so good at acting and professional actors who have two left feet.  The only one who manages to do both is Chris Brown, otherwise this film was not supposed to be released until they found actors who could dance or dancers who can act. Charisma is an absent factor for most of the actors so there is very little chemistry between them. The only hook to the film is that we get to see some incredible break dancing performed by some of the most agile and talented dancers in the business. But even with the dancing as the showcase, the film is terrible. Josh Peck was not too bad and not too good either, his character lacking that x-factor that it should have had. His name sake, Josh Holloway’s portrayal of a broken man drawing his strength from the realization that his life can only get better if he swallows his pain and checks back into reality is good, – he is by far one of the better actors in the film. My advise to you is not to go and watch the film if you expect a good movie. Only go if you are interested in seeing a lot of electric dancing, or just have a crush on one or more of the actors. I thought it would be different from other dance movies but sadly, Battle of the Year is the kind of movie you could almost rightfully say you’ve seen without actually having to sit through it. If you have seen Planet B-Boy, the documentary which the film is loosely based on then stay at home and save your money, and if you haven’t, save yourself the headache and dizziness, there is nothing new here.

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