Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away (3D) (PG)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner01/02/2013

One out of Five stars
Running time: 91 mins

Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away is undeniably spectacular and features some extremely bendy people doing some extremely bendy things, but it's ultimately rather boring and repetitive and there isn't enough of a hook to make it work as a film.

What's it all about?
Directed by Andrew Adamson (Shrek) and executive produced by James Cameron, Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away (3D) is essentially a blended-together compilation of some of the world-famous circus troupe's Las Vegas shows (including O, Mystere, Believe and Viva Elvis), linked together via an extremely tenuous love story. Erica Linz stars as Mia, a wide-eyed young girl who attends an old-fashioned circus and immediately falls for the dashing trapeze artist known only as The Aerialist (Igor Zaripov), only for him to come crashing to the ground after he spots her in the crowd and loses his grip.

However, as he falls, the ground opens up and sucks The Aerialist into a netherworld, whereupon Mia follows and encounters a prancing clown (John Clarke) who agrees to act as her guide as she pursues her would-be lover through a series of fantasy worlds. These include: an aerial pirate ship, a world full of riderless tricycles, a world populated by creepy crabs (or possibly spiders; either way, they were made from bendy people), and a world populated by, um, The Beatles. Or something.

The Good
The artistry on display is undeniably spectacular, with impressive choreography that forces its extremely bendy cast to do some extremely bendy things, some of which (e.g. the human crabs) are quite disturbing to look at. It's fair to say that Adamson's camerawork, coupled with the 3D effects, does a good job of capturing the feel of the live performance, even if it fails to capture the atmosphere (there are no shots of the audience, for example, despite the film being shot over a series of Vegas shows).

The Bad
The main problem is that we never get to know the characters (Mia says just one word in the whole thing – ‘Help!’), so it's impossible to engage with the already dangerously thin plot; there's never any sense of danger, for example. Similarly, though your tolerance will obviously vary if you're a fan of the stage shows, the incessant bendiness of it all starts to wear very thin after a while, becoming both repetitive and boring.

Worth seeing?
Basically, there's no compelling reason for Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away (3D) to exist as a feature film, as opposed to, say, a series of YouTube videos. If you're that much of a fan of Cirque du Soleil, go and see the live stage show instead.

Film Trailer

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Content updated: 21/09/2018 19:10

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