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Dance Flick

August 18, 2010

I’m not sure whether my uncontrollable laugh out loud moments during Dance Flick proves that my sense of humor is as low as I’ve always thought or if it’s actually a pretty decent underrated spoof. For years I’ve questioned my taste of humor as I’ve found that most of the things I find hilarious are aimed at teenage male stoners, have no critical acclaim, or steady fanbase; Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Superjail, Slackers, Still Waiting… etc,. The high-brow serious stuff is enjoyable but it’s something about low-brow humor that just tickles my fancy. Since childhood, genre spoofs have been my weakness and my love of them only evolved from Airplane to Scary Movie 2.

However the intelligence behind spoofs have disappeared since The Wayans Brothers stop being involved. I honestly can’t comprehend how anyone found Disaster Movie, Date Movie, Epic Movie, Scary movie 3, Scary Movie 4… basically every movie Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer have creative control over, in the least bit humorous. Those two men have single handedly destroyed the parody genre and it’s disgusting and sad. I could go on forever about my undeniable passionate hate for those two failures but I digress, Dance Flick isn’t the best of the spoof genre but it walks the line of absurdity and satire fairly well.

Directed by the newest Wayans, Damien Dante, Dance Flick takes the Wayans Brothers name but evolves it into something different, however whether the finished product is “good” or “bad” is up to the viewer. Borrowing most heavily from the films You Got Served, Step Up, and Save the Last Dance, Dance Flick revolves around an ex-ballet dancer Megan (Shoshana Bush) struggling to adjust to a move to the inner city after her mother is killed in a car accident. Megan befriends her classmates Charity and Thomas Uncles (Damien Dante Wayans), a clean-cut street dancer looking to escape the clutches of an overweight drug lord Sugarbear (David Alan Grier). Through her relationship with Thomas, Megan is taught how to survive on the urban streets and overcome her fear of dancing to become the best street dancer that can be.

Dance Flick is shamelessly stupid, but there’s a slight method to its madness. The humor works for the type of film it is and the films that it’s parodying. The difference between the classic works of Mel Brooks and the ZAZ group compared to The Wayans Brothers, is that Brooks and ZAZ mocked serious big budget films. The Wayans on the other hand took it upon themselves to spoof already socially damned films and niche genres. From the opening sequence in Dance Flick it declares boldly that type of humor that will ensue as during a dance battle each solo dancer gets a separate joke. While break dancing one character spins around on the floor, his speed growing faster and faster until his body takes off and breaks through a window. Thomas is introduced by sliding across the floor with opened legs up to an opponent only to squirt a stream of urine in his face. Yes it is as stupid as it sounds. Yes I did laugh… a bit.

Like other films of its genre, Dance Flick is packed with puns, parodies, and biting irony as seen in one brilliant scene of the film featuring Marlon Wayans as Mr. Moody, the class drama teacher. Over the top in his conversation, Mr. Moody explains to the students that roles should be taken with integrity. While boasting to his class that he gave up his manhood twice for five weeks work on a student film, he explains the low percentage of roles for African Americans in Hollywood, further telling how the only work for blacks are with The Wayans Brothers. He goes on to discuss how he was offered the most stereotypical role of his life but took it for the money and proceeds to show the class the incriminating clip emphasizing that he did it with integrity.

I’m not really sure what my final consensus of Dance Flick is. I intended to write a review that would reevaluate the spoof genre and give credit to the works of The Wayans Brothers; however I know and admit this film is nowhere near the quality of their past films such as I’m Gonna Git You Sucka or Don’t Be A Menace. Yet Dance Flick is still better than the regurgitated feces that’s being spewed out by Friedberg and Seltzer. Dance Flick doesn’t take itself seriously but it also isn’t just heartless dribble… ok maybe a bit of dribble but not heartless.

AVOID IT. Unless you have the humor of a 13-year-old boy.

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