Razzle Dazzle: A Journey Into Dance (PG)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner17/10/2007

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 95 mins

Amusing comedy with a few big laughs, even if it's not terribly original.

What's it all about?
Ben Miller plays Mr Jonathon, leader of the Jazzketeers dance troupe, whose controversial, politically motivated dance routines (e.g. the Kyoto Protocol Shuffle) have often stood in the way of his success at dance competitions, especially now that there's competition from the rigidly traditional school run by Miss Elizabeth (Jane Hall). As the annual Sanosafe Troupe Spectacular approaches, Mr Jonathon is counting on his routine about oppressed Afghanistan women to win the day, but will it be enough to swing the judges?

The film also focuses on the relationship between pushy mother extraordinaire (Kerry Armstrong) and her daughter Tenille (Shayni Notelovitz), as well as Barbara (Denise Roberts), a foster mother who keeps returning her charges when it turns out that they lack dancing talent.

The Good
Miller is wonderfully cast as Mr Jonathon and his deadpan delivery is perfectly suited to the mockumentary format. The child actors are equally good, particularly Notelovitz, while there's strong comic support from both Kerry Armstrong and Denise Roberts. In addition to its collection of well written characters, the script crackles with great lines, such as when Tenille's mother describes her as an Ikea of talent. The choreography is superb too, courtesy of Strictly Ballroom's John O'Connell – Mr Jonathon's climactic sweatshop-worker based dance routine is as impressive as it is hilarious.

The Bad
The film's main problem is that it never does anything that you're not expecting, particularly if you've seen the likes of Best In Show, A Mighty Wind or Waiting for Guffman. That said, it's possible that this is the fault of the mockumentary format itself – if you've never seen one before, then you can probably go ahead and add an extra star.

Worth seeing?
As mockumentaries go, Razzle Dazzle is very funny and extremely well written but there's nothing here you haven't seen before.

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Content updated: 16/08/2018 22:45

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