You can flush this Flashdance
MAKE IT HAPPEN Directed by Darren Grant. Starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Riley Smith, Tessa Thompson, Julissa Bermudez, John Reardon, Ashley Rober 12A cert, gen release, 90 min YEAH, MAN, make it happen. Make me fall asleep. Make me look at my watch every 30 seconds. Make me cast my eyes to heaven with such vigour that I risk detaching a retina.
When you hear that the latest youth dance film takes place largely within the confines of a poledancing club, you might assume that it would, at the very least, stir up a bit of righteous anger in the liberal observer.
No such luck. The Chicago venue within which Mary Elizabeth Winstead struts her stuff is run so responsibly it could comfortably host the annual Spare Rib dinner dance. Over half the audience is made up of sober women. An articulate African-American lady, who tolerates no misuse of her charges, manages the place with notable conscientiousness. The dancers reveal no portions of flesh you might not also glimpse in a production of Starlight Express.
Heck, you’d be as happy to have your daughter dance in this place as do the laundry in a nunnery.
This really is a half-assed piece of work. If you are going to nudge the plots of Flashdance and 42nd Street before us you might have the decency to draw a false moustache on one and perch dark glasses on the other.
Winstead, late of Death Proof, plays a garage worker who travels to the city with the intention of becoming a ballet dancer. After failing to get into the college of her choice, she turns to burlesque and gradually develops a whole new set of muscles. You know how these things go.
One would forgive the derivative plot, flat acting and deceit concerning the quasirespectable end of the sex industry if the dancing were up to scratch. But Mary Elizabeth’s grand finale, fatally compromised by a liberal use of stand-ins, offers nothing you wouldn’t be surprised to see at 3am in the Letterkenny Splendido. Make it go away.