In the 80s movies like Breakin set the world on fire bringing the world of break dancing to the masses, but slowly seemingly died out. What most people didn’t know was that the bboy culture was stronger than ever despite its lack of showcasing on the big screen. Thanks to films like You Got Served and the Step-Up franchise the wonderful world of dance was brought back to the forefront where it belongs. The latest, Battle of the Year takes on the international group bboy competition, but does it deliver the moves needed to live up to it’s name?
Battle of the Year follows Los Angeles Hip Hop mogul who wants to put the country that started the sport back on top. He enlists his hard-luck friend, who was a championship basketball coach, to coach his team. Armed with the theory that the right coach can make any team champions, they assemble a Dream Team of all the best dancers across the country. With only three months until Battle of the Year, the coach has to use every tactic he knows to get twelve talented individuals to come together as a team if they're going to bring the Trophy back to America where it started. This genre of film is one that is geared towards a specific audience with the dance being the focal point. The story this time around isn’t anything that hasn’t been done in some form or another, but takes viewers once again inside a culture that most know little about. One smart thing they did here was fill the film with actors as opposed to just dancers giving it a bit more credibility than those that hope the dancers alone can carry the film. Lost star Josh Holloway does a fine job here and thankfully makes sense with the story as opposed to trying to convince the viewer he is a breakdancer. The rest of the cast including Laz Alonso, Josh Peck and Caity Lotz all do a fine job with in the supporting roles, with the only one struggling being Chris Brown. He carries the dance aspect fine, but his acting is a bit forced most of the time and never really packs the punch the character needs. The true showcase of the movie, the dancing is excellent with some great choreography and performers, a variety of them coming out of G-Force Entertainment based out of Florida and Dallas as well as numerous other crews and countries from around the world.
The dance action really delivers, but you have to understand that it doesn’t showcase too much full on battles till the end of the movie, with the rest showing them training. This made for a better delivery making those performances have a bigger impact once they happen. As mentioned before, this is a movie geared towards a specific audience and those fans are likely to have a good time. In addition to the film, this Blu-ray also includes rehearsals, extended dance sequences, A guide to breaking and the featurette This is Planet B-Boy: Inside The Culture.