Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Battle of the Year: You may find your head spinning at this film (and not in a good way)

The U.S. team displays some explosive combinations of individual contortions.

2 out of 4 stars

Title
Battle of the Year: The Dream Team
Written by
Brin Hill, Chris Parker, Benson Lee
Directed by
Benson Lee
Starring
Josh Holloway, Chris Brown
Classification
PG
Country
USA
Language
English
Year
2013

A fictional remake of director Benson Lee's documentary Planet B-Boy, Battle of the Year begins as breakdancer-turned-hip-hop mogul Dante (Laz Alonso) tells his staff that it's time Americans won supremacy in breakdancing, which has grown in popularity throughout the world while declining in its homeland.

Also, a championship will help him sell more products. He hires a cliché for the job, by which I mean a washed-up basketball coach-turned-alcoholic Jason Blake (Josh Holloway, a.k.a. Sawyer on TV's Lost). Blake, assisted by his fan-boy assistant, Franklyn (Josh Peck), selects a national team of stars, boards them in a former juvenile detention centre and subjects them to boot camp-style training.

After some tiresome interpersonal squabbles, inspirational speeches (apparently, there's no "I" in the word "team"), the boys fly to France where, voila, the dancing begins.

Story continues below advertisement

The 3-D is a pain, and the excitable editing, slo-mo and speeded-up action frustrate attempts to watch the athleticism on display, but the last half-hour takes it up a notch: The world champion South Korean crew, for example, dives and leaps like a bucket of Super Balls in a space capsule. And the U.S. team snaps between meticulous synchronized movements and explosive combinations of individual contortions.

Even if you've never harboured any b-ambitions, you may find your head spinning.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
Film critic

Liam Lacey is a film critic for The Globe and Mail. More

Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.