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Movie Review

Dance Flick

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, and language.

Reviewed by: Mia J. Best
CONTRIBUTOR

Extremely Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens, Adults
Genre:
Action, Comedy
Length:
1 hr. 23 min.
Year of Release:
2009
USA Release:
May 22, 2009
DVD: September 8, 2009
Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Paramount Pictures

Dancing in the Bible

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Featuring: Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Kim Wayans, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Damon Wayans Jr., Shoshana Bush, Damon Wayans Jr., Essence Atkins, Affion Crockett, Luis Dalmasy, Chris Elliott, Christina Murphy, David Alan Grier, Amy Sedaris, Lauren Bowles, Brennan Hillard, George Gore II, Chelsea Makela, Ross Thomas, Sufe Bradshaw, Yves Lola St. Vil, Kevin Knotts, Ellia English, Craig Wayans, Terry Rhoads, Chaunte Wayans, Brien Perry, Corey Holcomb, Michael Wayans, Casey Lee, Tichina Arnold, Dan Kelpine, Howard Alonzo, Phil Beauman, Shane Miller, Vincent Oshana, Kaylee Dodson, Elimu Nelson, Louisa Abernathy, Andrew McFarlane, Cara Mia Wayans, Page Kennedy, Heather McDonald, Gregory Wayans Benson Jr., Chynna Dulac, Brandy Oglesby, Hannah Douglass, Garland Spencer, Katie Orr, Lucas Raynaud, Jason Geoffrey, Jimmy Arguello, Kelby Brown, Anthony Carr, Cedric Gardner, Antonio Hudnell, Jermaine McGhee, Michael Patterson-Crohn, Gregg Romeo, Wesley Sellick, Jessie Sims, Troy Terashita, Michael Vargas, Charlie Williams, Christopher Watters, Carey Ysais, Philip Albuquerque, Nick DeMoura, Christopher Scott, Jeffrey “Machine” McCann, Jonathan “Legacy” Perez, Henry “Chopper” Platt, David “Super Dave” Royster, Sho-Tyme, Karla Andrade, Kiara Nicole Ely, Oren Michaeli, Rino Nakasone, Bertrand Roberson Jr., Diona Robinson, John Silver, Ivan “Flipz” Velez, Amy Allen, David Contreras, Danny Davalos, John R. Corella, Dionne Michelle, Jacquelyn Dowsett, Natasha Hamilton, Shelby Rabara, Maurice Andrews, Daniel Bateman, Brooke Bickford, Nicole Butts, Misha Bugaev, Hymnson Chan, Tiffany Collie, Kristen De Luca, Pamela Douglas, Kelly Dymon, Bryan Friday, Nikki Giavasis, Harley Graham, Erin Harms, David Hill, Terrica Hudson, Lakrishi Kindred, Nay Nay Kirby, Jessica Martinez, Kelly Nienaltowski, Tarah Paige, Lauren Alayne Plagens, Tuffy Questell, Natalie Reid, Leandra Ryan, Tyler Shamy, Monica Sly
Director: Damien Dante Wayans
Producer: MTV Films, Wayans Bros. Entertainment, Rick Alvarez, Michael Tiddes, Richard Vane, Craig Wayans, Damien Dante Wayans, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Marlon Wayans, Shawn Wayans
Distributor: Paramount Pictures

“From the Wayans Brothers”

The Wayans’ family brand of comedy has always been dominated by a style that is crude, skewers race, hypes sexuality and aims for shock-inspired laughs, rather than those elicited from clever timing and inspired writing. “Dance Flick” continues that legacy, but seems more like a string of skits from IN LIVING COLOR than a well-developed satire on the dance movie genre. With its outrageous sight-gags, jokes based on sexual anatomy and racial stereotypes, “Dance Flick” promises to offend many and cannot be recommended, especially to teens for which it is targeted.

“Dance Flick” introduces the second generation of Wayans with Damien Dante Wayans as the writer/director/producer, Craig Wayans as the co-executive producer and Damon Wayans Jr. as lead character THOMAS.

SAVE THE LAST DANCE and STOMP THE YARD seem to be the movies where they drew the major plotlines. MEGAN, a brokenhearted Juilliard reject, transfers to a predominantly black musical high school and falls in love with a reluctant thug, THOMAS, who teaches her how to “get jiggy with it.” HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL, RAY, and HAIRSPRAY were also spoofed, among others.

The movie begins with a dance battle between two rival crews. THOMAS takes the floor with a move that ends with his leg hiked and “spraying” his opponent like a dog would a fire hydrant. A dancer from the opposing crew steps up and contorts his body to the point that he sticks his own head up his rear end. The visual is very disturbing. The final dance battle of the movie should have been epic and grand, but seemed anticlimactic. All the dance moves were punctuated with cheap sight-gags, which elicited more groans than laughs.

MEGAN tries to fit in by going to the club and trying to assimilate through dress and dance. The Bible tells us not to be conformed to the pattern of the world, but to be transformed by renewing our minds (Romans 12:2). The foundation of the dance battles is pride. One crew tries to out-perform the other, usually for a cash prize, but more importantly for bragging rights. But pride, according to the Bible, always leads to a fall (Proverbs 16:18). James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”

The usual Wayans clan, Sean, Kim and Keenan—most of whom supply just mediocre performances—weighs down the cast roster. Damon Wayans Jr., as THOMAS, does a descent job with mindless material but shows promise with comedic timing. Shoshana Bush is adequate as MEGAN. Marlon Wayans gives a commendable performance as an over-the-top acting teacher. Essence Atkins, manages to play CHARITY, a stereotypical ghetto teen mother, with such energy that she brightens every scene she is in. And comedian David Allen Grier dons a fat suit as gangster SUGAR BEAR and spoofs the DREAMGIRLS song “And I am Telling You…”

“Dance Flick” sinks low on the morality meter by taking the Lord’s name in vain, repeatedly referring to women as female dogs, and using genitalia to generate cheap laughs. The misuse of sex (outside of marriage, homosexuality, etc.) is the source of many of the jokes. For example, a guidance counselor encourages two students making out in the hallway to not use a condom and then continues a tour. At the dance battles, guns are frequently drawn and pointed to someone’s head. For these and too many reasons to list here, I cannot recommend this movie for any audience.

With the Wayans well-established in Hollywood, I would have hoped that they would have trained the next generation to break the mold beyond crude humor. The Bible instructs us to train our children in the way that they should go, so that when they are old, they will not depart (Prov. 22:6). It also warns us to stay away from dirty and silly talk (Ephesians 5:4b). The Bible does tell us that a good man leaves an inheritance for his children. But what parent wants to leave money without establishing good morals? Ephesians 6:4 instructs fathers to bring up children in “Christian discipline and instruction” (God’s Word).

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Extreme

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive

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Negative
Negative—Very Disturbing Movie! If you liked the Scary Movie Series, you will love “Dance Flick.” I was expecting the movie to be like “Step Up 2: The Streets.” I was most certainly proved wrong! “Dance Flick” did contain some good dance scenes, but it was obscene for the rest of the movie. Don’t waste your hard earned money on “Dance Flick.”…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Ray Atkinson, age 18 (USA)
Negative—I saw this movie with my boyfriend, just wanting to watch something light and funny. I was embarrassed both for myself and for him. Way too crude. It would have been better to stay home and watch a DVD. Way uncomfortable!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1
—Angela, age 24 (Australia)
Comments from young people
Positive—I went and saw this movie with my best friend. It was pretty funny, I must say, but, some parts were, well, awkward… the dance teachers name was Ms. Cameltoe. Gross, I thought. At the end of the movie she beat boxed, but not with her mouth. The baby in the movie doesn’t get taken care of too well. It got dropped out a window. In the movie there were some hilarious parts, though. Some scenes I didn’t agree with, but, overall, it was ok.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Hannah N, age 14 (USA)
Comments from non-viewers
I have not seen this film and plan not to. I have seen the previews, and this film is a complete rip off of “Save the Last Dance.” Except “Save the Last Dance” did not have any nudity scenes in it, just kissing, a guy has no shirt on in one scene, there is cursing and violence. But for what I read, this film does have nudity, etc. I recommend no one see this film, if you are a Christian and just became a Christian. Especially don’t take a child to see this film, no matter the age. I believe in Jesus, and I won’t see this movie. If Jesus was here, do you think He himself see this film? NO, I don’t think so. This is just another stupid film to corrupt anyone.
—Julie D., age 37 (USA)