DIR: Kevin Tancharoen • PRO: Dante Di Loreto, Ryan Murphy • DOP: Glen MacPherson • ED: Myron I. Kerstein, Jane Moran, Tatiana S. Riegel • CAST: Cory Monteith, Dianna Agron and Lea Michele

Nobody tell John Travolta, but Grease isn’t the word anymore. Glee is. So much so that with the inevitable over-merchandising, the word has lost all meaning. No longer a happy sound, but describing the act of bursting into song at any given opportunity. Wait – that actually does sound happy in a Disney kind of way. The point is, Glee is inescapable right now, and this month, it hits our cinemas with Glee: The Concert Movie… and yes, there is 3D involved.

The use of 3D here is futile, the extra dimension may occasionally work for the new ‘concert movie’ genre, the Jonas Brothers can throw their sunglasses at you as if hurling a missile into your very soul, but does it work here? The short answer is no. Whilst it may work in the concert scenario, here we have a set of characters who have been engaged in story arcs with one another, they have become so beloved that, in the typical soap opera fashion, audiences are almost incapable of seeing them as anything other than their on-screen characters. Yet we are expected to almost forget that anything else has happened, here they are just performers, and with the use of 3D we are given yet another new aspect, we see every ‘not teenage’ flaw, and for characters we have seen live only in a cookie-cutter high school world, that is mildly disturbing.

What story does exist here is that of three Glee fans, a charming addition, but a somewhat desperate attempt at adding substance where there is little. Audiences almost prefer to be forced to see their favourite characters as actors rather than seeing people who share their passion, but have very little impact on the movie. Interjecting a concert with stories of the television show’s import is somewhat irritating when you’re waiting to hear your favourite show tune. It creates a jumbled, confusing product.

Sure, it does exactly what it says on the tin, it’s a concert movie which spends its time singing and dancing, and ignoring any underlying storylines. This works for the Foo Fighters, Muse and Bono, but when it comes to a popular television show, when audiences have invested so much time in these characters and storylines, it is an odd experience. Undoubtedly, this series of concerts were enjoyable, and audiences revelled in seeing their musical favourites live on stage. But, as a movie, something is missing.

If you’re a fan of Glee for the musical numbers, and the escape from a world where it is frowned upon to burst into a song-and-dance number, then this is the movie for you. Alternatively, if it’s the characters, story, loves found and lost that encourage your fists to fight for the remote on a weekly basis, then this may be one to avoid. And if you’re the person fighting against the remote grabber, then you might be better off steering clear of the cinema altogether. Here is the ravishing pop culture adoration fad at its finest. This time, it would be prudent to listen to Sue Sylvester.

Ciara O’Brien


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