Spoilers for ‘Work It’
If we had to sum up the vibe of this movie, we’d say “Kissing Booth 2” meets “Step Up 2” – an outdated storyline. That’s not to say the movie isn’t enjoyable, especially for those who enjoy movies that fall under the “coming of age” category. With the obvious target audience being teens, we wouldn’t say the hype was up to par, but it’s dancing, so it’s a little hard not to like. The film looks too much like a holdover from earlier productions with characters that many have seen before. The love story interwoven into a narrative that has a dance competition and a college admissions scandal as its driving force is a “been there seen” kind of deal.
Sabrina Carpenter’s Quinn Ackerman is a determined, bright-eyed young woman who decides to create a dance team named TBD with her best friend Jas, played by Liza Koshy. The thing is, she can’t dance, but Jas can. Wanting to increase her extracurricular activities to make sure she was a “shoo-in” for Duke, the school her late father had gone to, Ackerman opens a Pandora’s Box of predictable mediocre events.
We don’t know how the forced baggy clothes and lack of rhythm made us believe Ackerman was the “Girl Next Door” in Taylor Swift’s “You Belong To Me” music video. If you’ve ever watched movies like this, the ending was already evident in the first 15 minutes of the movie. Carpenter’s potential as an actress was a joke to say the least, as the lost in thought character she was playing was nowhere near what she is capable of.
Now on to the role that many have been waiting for, Liza Koshy as an actress can be a disappointment in this film. Known to be a professional dancer, we expected Koshy to move effortlessly in dance battles. What has been an annoyance is that his comedic personality on YouTube and social media doesn’t work for TV. From her expressions to her forced “cool” attitude, it almost feels like the actress was trying to make a point.
The movie had it all, a leader when it comes to the dance team, a hopeless romantic for the protagonist, an enemy remnant of “Sharpay” from “High School Musical” and a handsome dude who shows up to save the day. . This is literally the “how to” to make a 90s dance flick. But, we have to say the soundtrack was probably the best part of most of the scenes.
This movie is of course meant to lift the spirits and make the kids believe – that goal has been achieved, we can say it. The themes were punchy under the plush garments of a warm narrative – death, loyalty, determination, and even perseverance were explored in the short. There was so much more that could have been done with the script, so it was a bit of a letdown. We’d say this movie certainly didn’t hit the limits of the many dance-fight movies that came before it. It was too much of a recycled story, but it works for a family night out, you guess.
“Work It” is now available to stream on Netflix.