Battle of the Year
Josh Holloway, Josh Peck
September 20, 2013
Screen Gems (Sony)
1 hour 49 minutes
From looking at the poster for the new film "Battle of the Year," what else is there to expect? This isn't going to be a compelling, original, and moving Oscar worthy drama, in case you somehow were expecting that. This is a dancing film, along the lines of the "Step Up" franchise. However the difference between this and all of the "Step Up" movies is that this actually has some type of substance surprisingly. It's not trying to be anything more than a simple dance movie that wants your money, but for the most part, "Battle of the Year" is an entertaining movie to say the least. It's nothing groundbreaking, but it is a fun movie to watch and even make fun of some of the time.
America might be the founding country of B-Boy Dancing, but they are currently the hosts of the worst professional dance teams in the world. Hip hop mogul Dante wants to bring the trophy back to the States, so he hires former Basketball coach Blake to form the ultimate "dream team" that could hopefully reclaim the trophy that's been absent from American soil for 15 years. With the help of his assistant Franklyn, Blake starts to form this dream team, but the drama that surrounds certain members of the group might affect the team's chances of heading to the finals and winning it all. All it takes for America to reclaim the gold is for the team to work together, get along, and give it all they have in order to be the absolute best B-Boy Dancing team in the entire world.
The best thing about the film by far is the dancing sequences. There aren't as many as one may expect, but when they do hit the screen, they are a lot of fun to watch. However for a dancing movie, the 3D didn't quite do it for me. In fact, it was kind of useless and not worth paying for, no matter how cool the dancing might look. The majority of the film is dialogue and story driven sequences that aren't needed to be in 3D at all. Having said that, the dialogue and the story weren't as bad as one may expect. The script and the acting might not be Oscar worthy, but I could easily tell that everyone in this film was trying their best to give a decent performance, and for the most part, everyone succeeded. Josh Peck and Josh Holloway had some solid chemistry and did good jobs on their own as well. Chris Brown, like in the horrible movie "Takers," shows that he isn't the worst actor out there, and I actually thought he was one of the best actors in the film. Everyone else was fine, but not really worth talking about.
I give props to director Benson Lee for taking the true story of American B-Boy dancers, which he actually made a documentary about prior to this movie, and making it an enjoyable piece of entertainment. Is the movie perfect? Not at all. Is it a fun piece of entertainment that's worth a rental or the price of a matinee ticket? I think so. The acting is fine, the script is fine, and the story isn't as terrible as one may expect. The 3D is good, but it's not worth paying a $5 surcharge for. There are moments in the movie that are laughable and ridiculous, but that sort of enhanced the experience of watching this movie for me. This is one of those September releases that will be forgotten once 2014 comes around, but for what it is, "Battle of the Year" is a fun dance movie that is a decent way to take a break from life and spend two hours of your day in a movie theater.