Cinema Review – All Stars

Two kids, Ethan (Theo Stevenson) and Jayden (Akai Osei-Mansfield), team up to save their local youth centre from destruction, and possibly teach their parents and peers something about determination in the process.

All Stars is a film that we have sort of seen before; two kids who are not friends, become unlikely allies to save something precious to them both… Possibly through the medium of dance. You know the drill. Sadly, All Stars does not try to do anything new or interesting with the concept.

In recent years there have been many, many, many movies about dance bringing people together, and it seems this is a good a time as any to stop. We all know the dance is a universal language and those who come together are stronger than they are on their own and, unless your film is going to do something spectacular, then there are hundreds of others out there like it.

The kids are fine in their roles, and do exactly what is expected of them. The adults fare little better; Ashley Jensen provides an odd voice over for the first 20 minutes of the film, and it is never clear who she is talking to, John Barrowman just turns up to do an admittedly fun fantasy dance number, but the audience never knows why the character is a virtual recluse, and Mark Heap is reduced to a caricature of Brian from Spaced, arguably his most famous character.

Looking at the film as an adult, there seems little to recommend it to anyone, but for the kids there is the story of kids doing the right thing for themselves, standing up for what is right in their own lives, and the lesson that there is strength when people come together is a valuable one.

Ben Gregor’s film brings together characters from all walks of life who have to work together in order to succeed, but the film relies too heavily on montages to really tell a story properly. The kids learn their lessons in working together, and accepting one another, but the film feels rather trite and threadbare. Of course, this could be because we have seen this before in a much more clever way.

All Stars is a story about kids, aimed at kids. There are much better versions of this story out there, but this is not the worst way to spend a couple of hours. That said, it is time to let the dance movie die now please.

Rating: 2/5

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