Glee The 3D Concert Movie (PG)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner17/08/2011

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 84 mins

Cynical, prepackaged and naggingly problematic cash-in exercise that earns points for perkiness but won't win over non-fans and may leave some die hard Gleeks feeling short-changed.

What's it all about?
Directed by Kevin Tancharoen, Glee The 3D Concert Movie was filmed during the 2011 arena tour and features the cast of the popular TV show performing a greatest hits package that includes the signature Don't Stop Believin' (oddly foregrounded, rather than saved till the end), and various character specific numbers. The enthusiastically performed (not to mention autotuned and almost certainly lip-synched in some places) musical numbers are interspersed with both backstage (scripted) interviews with the in-character cast and vox pops from excited Glee fans testifying how the show has, like, totally changed their lives.

In addition, three vox-poppers are singled out for special treatment, so we also get mini documentaries about the lives of a cute cheerleader with dwarfism, a forcibly outed gay teenager and a fan with Asperger's syndrome whose obsession with one of the characters has enabled her to bond with a group of friends.

The Good
To be fair, if all you want from a Glee concert movie is to see your favourite characters on stage singing the songs from the show, then you're not going to be too disappointed. Similarly, there are some definite highlights, such as Chris Colfer's Kurt doing a decent cover version of I Wanna Hold Your Hand or a crowd pleasing surprise appearance from one of the show's high profile guest stars. On top of that, it's fun to try and count the number of obviously pissed off, dragged along adults in the audience of screaming fans.

The Bad
That said, there are several problems with the film: for one thing, the in-character conceit doesn't really work, particularly as it would actually be far more interesting to hear the actors talking about what they're doing. Similarly, though wheelchair-bound character Artie's (Kevin McHale) song and dance number may work as a fantasy sequence on the show, it feels uncomfortably out of place here, like the producers have rather missed the point; it also suggests that the show's supposed championing of underdogs and outcasts is only surface deep, something that's reinforced by the camera quickly panning past the show's least attractive cast member on several occasions.

On top of that, the 3D element is more or less pointless (some floaty streamers aside) and anyone expecting to see Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) based on her appearance in the trailer will be sorely disappointed, as her scenes have been deleted.

Worth seeing?
Glee The 3D Concert Movie is just about watchable if you're a fan of the show, but it's unlikely to make any new converts.

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Content updated: 22/07/2018 08:06

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