I so very much wanted to love this movie. Sorry…
I was excited to see Michael Flatley, Lord of the Dance, in 3D. To see something besides those animated movies for adolescent boys that usually employ this medium. And I was hoping for some behind-the-scenes documentary style revelations.
None of which I got.
Flatley deserves praise for supporting Irish step dance, and making it a worldwide phenom for 14 years. And his triumphant hometown return concert in Dublin was the subject of this movie.
Blessedly, it will be a limited engagement.
Who could love this? Dancers? Fans of ballet–since that is half the performance? Irish fanatics? People who don’t mind that the idiot cameraman cut off the view of their feet–which is, of course, the whole point of Irish step dance–OR ballet? People who love a birds eye view from the rafters? And yes, people of a certain age – as in old age – who can stomach seeing a sweaty Flatley take off his shirt and wave those flabby old arms!
Gross! (He did stay in shape and – at least in this movie – doesn’t appear to have a beer gut, like every other Irish man I know.) But check out the tabloid shots of him on the beach.
Which brings us to who won’t love this film.
That would be people who hoped for a documentary–which this was not. No secrets were revealed of how they amplify the stage. Or whether our Tom Jones lothario is gay or straight or bi. Well, Flatley did brag that they use big he-man style lighting: aka ALD, aircraft landing devices. And that it takes 8 hours to set up the show, and 4 hours to tear it down.
Other disappointed people would include: People who want a dramatic arc to just one story, rather than a mishmash of: Gangs of New York, West Side Story, The Crucifixion, The Resurrection, The Wesley King beating, The War in Ireland, Star Wars and Happy Days.
There’s even a scene that echoes the plot of Black Swan (but the graphics behind the two dancers were two white swans.) At least Flatley chooses the good girl, the blonde – not the vixen brunette.
Sorry, I gave away one of the film’s ten endings!
Flatley clearly does not know how to end a show. And during the applause, he waves his arms to beg for more. Because of the uncertainty (there is no program or plot to this dance), one’s left to wonder if these are encores, or just multiple finales. Or maybe they finally just ran out of tape or time??
I saw Flatley in concert with my mother a lifetime ago at Kemper Arena. This 3D reprises that same basic ballet. Only to update it, this time Flatley has the girl cast strip down to sports bra bikinis before their Chorus Line schtick.
So, if you must, take your teenage girls. But you’ve been warned.