5/10 Having heard that the writing pair whom created the music and lyrics from the amazing “La La Land” were pairing up again for another original musical added to one of my all-time favorite actors, Hugh Jackman, collaborating on this musical together got me very excited for this movie. I love the cast and musicals and the fact that this is original and not an adaptation of a Broadway show and so my hopes were as high as a trapeze artist. Unfortunately, by the time I left the theater, I felt none of what I felt when I watched “La La Land” or other far superior musicals. From the opening song, there were sound mixing problems that made the words hard to understand what was being sung. The rest of the songs I could mostly understand fine but that opening song…not so much. The movie has a good moral message of accepting and loving people who may be different than the average person but this movie is so cheesy and over the top with that message that it hurts the overall product. The angry mob of protesters were cartoonish and felt like they walked straight out of the “Beauty and the Beast” mob chanting, “Kill the beast!” I did like the acting as Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, etc. do a fine job with what they are given. The dance choreography is very impressive and the sets and editing transitions were creative as well. I do wish they would have given Michelle Williams more to do though. The midget in the film I am pretty sure they dubbed his voice in with someone else’s voice which felt weird and awkward. When it comes to the most important aspect, the music, this is about 50/50. Whereas the entire “La La Land” soundtrack is amazing, only half the songs here are. “Never Enough” is easily the best song and it gave me goosebumps listening to it. Half of the songs are solid but the other half are forgettable or throwaway. The couple song and dance numbers that took place in the bar were very entertaining. So overall about half of this film, like its music, works. The choreography, costume design, editing, production design and acting work. The overall plot, cheesiness, two dimensional supporting characters, mediocre writing and half of the songs don’t work. Wait for this to come out on DVD to enjoy this average circus performance piece.
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