Thursday, 13 January 2011

Burlesque: Movie Review

Burlesque: Movie Review

Rating: 4/10
Cast: Christina Aguilera, Cher, Stanley Tucci, Kristen Bell, Cam Gigandet, Alan Cumming, Eric Dane
Director: Steve Antin
Nominated for a Golden Globe for best Musical/ comedy seems entirely apt for Burlesque.
Aguilera (and her warbling pipes) stars as Ali, a small town American girl with a great voice who dreams of making it big in LA. (There's the first cliché for you.)
So, after quitting her crummy job in a bar, she heads to the city of lights and stumbles across the Burlesque Lounge, a failing but stomping club run by Cher's Tess with a little help from Stanley Tucci's stage manager Sean.
Talking her way into a bartending job there, she strikes up a friendship with the bar manager Jake (Twilight's Cam Gigandet) and manages to find her way onto the stage - but not without making an enemy out of Kristen Bell's Nikki.
However, unless Tess can find a way to keep the club afloat, Ali's time in the spotlight may be brief.
Burlesque is essentially a series of extended music videos - broken up by some clichéd plot and some, at times, frankly awful (and unintentionally funny) dialogue.
Aguilera acquits herself brilliantly in the singing portion of the film but brings little extra in terms of acting to the role of Ali; Cher is lacking any real emotional depth (and facial movement) as Tess - so the two leads are a mixed bag.
Thankfully, the wonderfully classy Stanley Tucci lights up every scene he's in and is blessed with some wonderfully witty moments (and revels in them); Mc Steamy aka Eric Dane is just lacking a handlebar moustache to twirl as the evil property magnate - and Alan Cumming is woefully underused as the club's doorman who has great lines like "I should wash your mouth out with Jagermeister" as well as a great risque song and dance moment.
I guess at the end of the day, Burlesque is about the spectacle more than anything else - while the club scenes and songs rock the joint, they certainly do little (with one exception) to capture the sexiness and seductive tease of Burlesque. However, they do showcase some stunning choreography and singing from Aguilera. Cher gets to do a couple of numbers but they're a lot more downbeat than you would expect.
While it's fair to say Aguilera essentially brings her music video presence to the big screen (and therefore nothing new in terms of acting or performance) she certainly lends a much needed musical credence to Burlesque.

The love story between Jake and her is naïve at best and corny at worst; but it certainly provides something for all - overall, Burlesque is an okay spectacle (a tad overlong) but is instantly forgettable the minute you walk out.

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