Dave's Rating:


"...there will be a show tonight on trampoline"

First thing you see is a making-of ad where they prepare you for the movie by telling you that you're about to see the movie. There are little interviews and rehearsal footage. It's informative, gets you psyched to see the thing you just bought a ticket to watch, like the video of the rollercoaster you're already in line to ride.

When that's over you get to enjoy the movie they sold you. You're kind of still wondering why they did that. Then you learn the reason: all original content in the film is, essentially, a framing device to show you bits and pieces from the various Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil shows, a travelogue of casinos, if you will, Showgirls' "Goddess" meets extreme-trapezing meets This is Cinerama.

A girl acrobat meets a boy acrobat and sparks fly. Separated almost immediately, she spends the remaining running time looking for him. Is he at the MGM Grand? Oh, wait, is that him over at the Luxor? No? It's a struggle. There are so many Cirques in which he could be shirtlessly hiding. Is he in Zumanity? Or Ka? As she looks and searches and peers, schmoopy Enya-style music swirls around her with an ahhhhaaahhhhaaah here and an ululation there, an unmanned tricycle crosses her path, a hobo is set on fire, a space gorgon wearing one of Bjork's hand-me-downs flies into the air, a human totem pole of Asian female contortionists stacks itself before her eyes and a critically panned Elvis-themed production rumbles and bounces toward her like an oncoming train. There's a lady-zebra with a stripey butt, lots of folks in mime make-up, wall-walking warriors on wires, a guy twirling a prismatic box and some jellyfish-people swooping through the air to the Beatles' "Octopus's Garden."

All of this distraction is wonderful to look at, a feature-length 3D bath of bodies in motion, all of them doing things your own body probably can't. As WHOA!-LOOK-AT-THAT-GUY-DO-THAT! experiences go, it's tough to beat.

But let's be totally honest here: it's a tourism brochure, a very long, very sparkly infomercial for one-handed pushups that you pay to watch, It's Cirque du Soleil's Greatest Hits, an enticement the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce is probably very happy to support. But it's just not much movie. You might as well save your money, sock it away into a vacation fund and buy a ticket to Mystere at Treasure Island when you hit the strip.


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