Review: BATTLE OF THE YEAR (2013) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Review: BATTLE OF THE YEAR (2013)

While the dance sequence is fairly engaging, BATTLE OF THE YEAR suffers from too many dance-movie clichés.

From 2006 to 2012, we already have four STEP UP movie series that popularized the evolution of street-dance. Now, here comes BATTLE OF THE YEAR -- a dance movie which focuses on the art of b-boying (commonly known as "breakdancing").

BATTLE OF THE YEAR stars Josh Holloway as Jason Blake, a former B-boy and one-time champion basketball coach, who is now an alcoholic loser after his wife and teenage son died in a car accident. One day, his old buddy Dante (Laz Alonso), who is now a wealthy entrepreneur selling hip-hop gear, pays him a visit. Dante wants him to coach his sponsored team for the upcoming international BOTY (Battle of the Year) dance competition in Montpellier, France. A few hesitations later, Jason agrees to coach his team under his own set of rules. He cherry-picks Franklyn (Josh Peck) as his assistant coach, and then gathers 22 dancers to an abandoned prison, where they practice their dance moves 12 hours a day and learn to be a team.
Korean-American director Benson Lee, who previously helmed a documentary called PLANET B-BOY (2008), knows how to execute dance sequence without resorting into fancy camera tricks. Here, he shoots wide to showcase how dancers b-boying around the floor so that the viewers can appreciate all their moves clearly.

The final dance sequence in Montpellier, France at which the Americans battles against the Koreans on the stage.

The plot is terribly clichéd and the characters are basically the same old stereotypes you come to expect in a typical dance-movie or even sport-movie genre.

BATTLE OF THE YEAR doesn't offers anything new to the dance-movie genre. While Benson Lee is adept when comes to dance sequence, he fails to elevate his movie beyond its routine approach.

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