Dance Flick (2009)

(On DVD, December 2011) If Wayan Brothers parody films seemingly write themselves without too much thought, reviewing them can be done just as automatically.  There’s little here that will be surprising to anyone who’s seen any of the sub-standard parody films of the 2000s: Dance Flick seems happy to take up a subgenre (here: teenager dance movies), extract its basic plotline, and re-create striking moments with more cartoon violence and gratuitous profanity.  It’s not great art, and it struggles to become even adequate entertainment.  Often more groan-inducing than funny, Dance Flick has a few moments… but most of them are buried under tedious recreations of better movies that don’t even bother adding any comic intent.  It’s a bit worse than being useless, though: despite black writers, directors and producers, Dance Flick seems almost determined to reinforce most movie stereotypes of the American black community.  You almost have to feel sorry for Shoshana Bush, who turns in a game performance as the heroine of the film.  While Dance Flick is a cut above some of the worst examples of the parody genre, that’s not much of a recommendation.  (At least it avoids the meanness and gross-outs of the worst of its brethren.)  Perhaps it’s best to say that the film will appeal most to teenagers that have seen most of the referenced dance movies and not much more.  The initial-release DVD has no supplemental material, but that’s OK: we didn’t necessarily want to see more.

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