This Is It, Odeon Leicester Square, London

2.00

No thriller, this is just bad

The unprecedented 1am start to this London premiere was timed to ensure Michael Jackson's This is It could land in 20 countries simultaneously. It was rather fitting that when the cameras broadcasting footage to the hordes of fans in Leicester Square broke down, shots from the red carpet in Los Angeles were shown instead, connecting the place that Michael Jackson died with the British capital where the This Is It concerts were due to take place from July of this year.

Kenny Ortega, the man who was directing the stage show, is handed the director's credit here and it's no surprise that This Is It portrays Michael Jackson in a favourable light. The action is comprised almost solely of the singer, in various guises, rehearsing for the ill-fated concerts between April and June of this year. Ortega has attempted, as much as possible, to show what the concerts would have looked like. It starts with a written reminder of when the action takes place before opening with a number of young dancers talking excitedly about the prospect of working with the so-called King of Pop. It's a touching moment, and a reminder that behind all the brouhaha of Jackson's death there were many people, fans and professionals, who had their dreams shattered.

This proves a rare moment of interview material as Ortega decides to concentrate on footage of Jackson rehearsing, starting with "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'". This obvious choice of song is quickly followed by footage of the singer announcing his comeback tour in which he stated that he's going to give the fans what he believed they wanted: a concert jammed full of his most popular tunes.

The tone of the movie is set with songs being cut together from performances from different rehearsal dates. It's soon clear as the movie trots out hits such as "The Way You Make Me Feel" that the singer was a long way from his heyday. There are only fleeting moments of great dancing before the inevitable jump cut arrives as the four editors who worked on the film attempt to sculpt a performance.

There is no attempt to get inside the mind of Jackson à la Martin Bashir. The cameramen also seem somewhat shy of Jackson, not getting too close. As a concert film – using footage which was by-and-large shot for Jackson's personal use – this is a failure.

The concert was apparently going to have a very strong environmental message as Jackson talks about his love of trees. What the film does not do, or even try to do, is provide any information that would give an insight into the circumstances surrounding the musician's death. The last song we're shown Jackson singing is "Man in the Mirror"; it's a shame the filmmakers did not take a cue from its lyrics to put together an uncompromising assessment of Jackson, rather than delivering another attempt to perpetuate the myth.

'This Is It' is being screened nationwide

Arts and Entertainment
Wonder.land Musical by Damon Albarn

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment

Film review

Arts and Entertainment
Innocent victim: Oli, a 13-year-old from Cornwall, featured in ‘Kids in Crisis?’
TV review
News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test