‘Battle of the Year’ is the latest in line from the new found dance genre made popular by the ‘Step Up’ series and carried forward in numerous other smaller to mid-level imitators. What’s different and interesting about this movie however is that director, Benson Lee has in the past made a documentary on the actual annual international tournament titled same as the movie, that pits dance crews from around the world against each other. Unfortunately what could have been a riveting sneak peek into a real life training regime for the competitors turns into a clichéd rundown of a bunch of underdogs working together setting aside their differences and winning it for “Team USA”.
Jason Blake (Josh Holloway) is a washed out, perpetually drunk ex-basketball coach who’s offered the chance to coach the less than stellar American B-Boy team to take part in the world championship of break dancing called ‘Battle of the Year’. So as every clichéd story goes, his hard-ass attitude changes the boys, makes them come closer as a family and ultimately take a legitimate shot at glory for their country. All the character traits in every underdog team sports movie ever made are applied here with gusto and only the sports bit replaced with technically proficient dancing.
The dances are worth their time but honestly you can watch similar or better stuff online, everything else is purely recycled material that you’ve been seeing in movies from the dawn of cinema. The same old formula of disciplining the boys, ego clashes, realisation, bonding are rinsed and repeated again and again. Even the 3D is abysmal and can’t rescue the movie from utter doom.
At best the dances in Battle of the Year can be used as a reference point for Remo if he ever decides to make ABCD 2, otherwise wait for it to arrive on home video or on television.view less