'Work It' Review: Dance battle film disappoints in its ode to recycled storylines but works for family night
We would say that this movie definitely did not reach any bars set by the many dance battle films that were made before it
Spoilers for 'Work It'
If we had to summarize the vibe of this movie, we would say that it's 'Kissing Booth 2' meets 'Step Up 2' — an outdated storyline. This is not to say the movie is not enjoyable, especially for those who love movies that fall in the 'coming of age' category. With the obvious target audience being teenagers, we wouldn't say the hype was up to the mark, but it's dancing, so it's a little hard not to like. The movie feels like too much of a remnant of earlier productions with characters many have already seen before. The love story intertwined within a narrative that has a dance competition and a college admission scandal as its driving force is a 'been there seen that' kind of deal.
Sabrina Carpenter's Quinn Ackerman is a bright-eyed, determined young woman, who decides to start a dance team named TBD with her best friend Jas, played by Liza Koshy. Thing is, she can't dance but Jas can. Wanting to bulk up her extracurriculars to make sure she was a "shoo-in" for Duke, the school her late father went to, Ackerman opens a Pandora's box of mediocre predictable events.
We don't know how much the forced loose clothing and lack of rhythm did to make us believe that Ackerman was the 'girl next door' from Taylor Swift's 'You Belong To Me' music video. If you've watched movies like this before, the ending was already obvious in the first 15 minutes of the movie. Carpenter's potential as an actress was a joke to say in the least, as the lost-in-thought character she played was a far cry from what she is capable of doing.
Now to the part, many were waiting for, Liza Koshy as an actress may be bummer in this movie. Known to be a professional dancer, we were expecting for Koshy to move through dance battles effortlessly. What was a turn off though was that her YouTube and social media comedic personality does not work for TV. From her expressions to her forced "cool" attitude it almost feels as though the comedian was trying to make a point.
The movie had everything, a ring leader when it came to the dance team, a hopeless romantic for protagonist, an enemy remnant of 'Sharpay' from 'High School Musical' and a handsome dude that shows up to save the day. That is literally the "how-to" of making a 90's dance flick. But, we have to say the soundtrack was probably the best part of most scenes.
This film is meant of course to raise spirits and have kids believe in themselves — that goal was achieved, we can say. The themes were hard-hitting under the cozy clothing of a warm narrative — death, loyalty, determination and even perseverance were explored in the short film. There was so much more that could have been done with the storyline though, and so that was a bit disappointing. We would say that this movie definitely did not reach any bars set by the many dance battle films that were made before it. It was too much of a recycled narrative, but it works for family night, we guess.
'Work It' is now available to stream on Netflix.