Dance Flick Review

The art of the parody movie died years ago. Now, instead of Airplane! and Hot Shots Part Deux, we’re given Dance Flick. This is mind-numbingly bad entertainment, lacking imagination, charisma, or any charm.

The entire Wayans’ brother clan came up with this non-gem, directed by first-timer Damien Dante Wayans. The “dance” movie, filled with junk like Step Up 2 The Streets, is fully deserving of a good thrashing, but this crew turns it into a lame, groan-inducing amateur fest.

Around 10% of the jokes work, most around the poor parenting of Charity (Essence Atkins), leaving her baby in the school locker, taking it to clubs, and letting it play on the playground alone. These small gags deliver a marginal level of fun, certainly not enough to offset the painful attempts at parodying the plot of the clichéd dance movies.

The comedians take their shots at a number of films, ranging from Enchanted, Ray, Twilight, to a bizarre moment from Black Snake Moan. Some deserve it, some don’t, but they certainly could be parodied better.

Character names reek of desperation, including Tracy Transfat, Ms. Cameltoe, and Ms. Dontwannabebothered. Classy. Spotty subplots go nowhere, wasting screen time. Nora (Christina Murphy) can’t find anyone to dance with her at an upcoming school function. She finds the school janitor, who amazingly happens to be a dancer. Then, he disappears from the script, only to resurface later for the finale. It is a total waste of time.

Movies like Airplane! understood that to properly parody, you need focus. The film took a series of generally similar sequels, exaggerated the worst aspects, and had a cast of lively characters to back it up. Dance Flick doesn’t appreciate the source material. It just wants to parody as many films as possible (along with popular culture), even if they don’t fit into the story. It feels slapped together, and that’s because it is.

Movie ★★☆☆☆ 

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Paramount delivers a decent AVC encode for a movie that doesn’t exactly deserve it. Generally, this is a pleasing image with fair detail, falling short of being spectacular. Black levels can drop out, but are typically strong with fine depth.

Color is nicely saturated, and flesh tones are accurate. Dance Flick looks quite natural, and apparently did not go through a digital intermediate to get here. That’s fine, as it is pleasing to see a modern film not look subdued or overdone. Some softness dominates throughout, with the movie never reaching the higher end of live action films on the format. There are no instances of noise, and the natural grain structure is pleasing.

Video ★★★★☆ 

A DTS-HD encode has some volume problems, with the hip-hop soundtrack blaring in comparison to the dialogue. Bass is powerful, even overwhelming at times. The music does bleed into the rears cleanly, and comes through with no problems to note.

The surrounds capture the frenzy of the crowd watching the dancers perform their act in all channels. Likewise, a crowded club about halfway through livens up the atmosphere. Despite some balancing issues, this sounds fine.

Audio ★★★★☆ 

Dance, Dance, Dance with the Wayans, Wayans, Wayans is a surprisingly decent making-of piece, with honest interviews and discussion. Considering most of the Wayans’ family was involved, it makes is slightly more personal than the usual promotional piece. Some deleted dance moves are followed by additional deleted scenes, including an alternate cut of the ending.

Both rated and unrated versions of the movie are on the disc. The unrated cut gains about five minutes of additional bland humor.

Extras ★★☆☆☆