If the makers of Battle of the Year really wanted to make money, they would have just named this film “Come Watch Chris Brown Get Punched in the Face.” That was the one redeeming characteristic of this movie.
In Battle of the Year, a group of wacky misfits wants to win the international B-Boy dancing competition, because apparently the country that friggen invented B-Boy dancing hasn’t managed to win in 15 years. Josh Holloway (TV’s “Lost”) plays Jason Blake, an alcoholic basketball couch, with a clichéd tragic back-story, who decides he just needs to dance out the pain. He partners up with Dante Graham (Laz Alonso), a hip-hop mogul determined to make the world respect the USA again…by dancing.
Enter the building of a team of dancers from every clichéd stereotype available. There’s Rooster (Chris Brown), a cocky (ha-ha, get it?) dancer who wants the spotlight all to himself. There’s an intern who only wants the appreciation of his boss. There’s a guy who wants to dance his way out of the projects. There’s Rebel, Sniper, Grifter and Mayhem. If you want to know their stereotypes, just Google the definition of their names.
Have you ever actually felt like a movie was making fun of you?
They even managed to accidentally toss in the clichéd sports injury of the best dancer Rooster, as the reason why he couldn’t attend the competition in France. In real life, Brown couldn’t attend because he was still on probation.
Also, there is so much product placement in this movie, I actually felt like I was watching a commercial. By the end, all I wanted to do was make a call on my Sony Smartphone, while I tied the laces on my new Pumas and shaved my legs with my new Braun Razor.
For a move about dancing, there was very little…dancing. When there is dancing, the 3D affects and split screen montages make it so dizzying, you can actually expect to bring on a seizure. What dancing I could actually see (after I stopped convulsing) wasn’t that bad. But sloppy, overly contrived camera work made it hard to focus.
The one standout in this entire mess of a film was Chris Brown…getting punched in the face. To be fair, Brown played his cocky, jerky, immature character really well, but that’s probably because he was playing a character that he seems to play regularly in real life.
Josh Peck, the second in command, wasn’t bad in his roll as the over eager, stereotypical Jewish intern either. While the roll was another sad stereotype, Peck managed to play it pretty well.
In the end, when the crew took off to France, I actually wanted them to lose. Why? Because I don’t want other countries thinking this is the best that America has to offer. Based on the clichés, terrible dialog, one dimensional characters and blatant product placement, the most surprising thing about this film is that it’s actually loosely based on real events and is partially a documentary. All in all, the dancing was good. Maybe if they had focused on that, rather than trying to force a story of redemption in there, it might have worked. Instead, I was too distracted with clichés and my sudden desire for a new pair of Pumas to pay much attention.
Here’s the Trailer.[mashshare]