(CelebNMusic247) Marques Houston Battles It Out In ‘Battlefield America’
From the team that brought you “YOU GOT SERVED” comes a young Hip-Hop dance battle movie for a new generation of dance. Battlefield America takes a steady look at the underbelly of the youth battle dance culture in Long Beach, California. Sean Lewis, a young, charismatic, successful businessman finds himself in the mix with a bunch of disheveled misfits Bad Boys, who have virtually no dance talent. Realizing his dilemma, Sean brings aboard a professional dance instructor to ease his responsibilities to these kids. Meanwhile, he finds himself falling for Sara, who runs the community center where the kids hangout and practice their moves. With Sean motivating them, The Bad Boys find the confidence to be contenders.
Marques Houston (Sean Lewis), Mekia Cox (Sarah Miller), Lynn Whitfield (Marcia Parker) star in Battlefield America along with an array of talented young dancers. The movie is about dancing, self-discovery and believing in yourself.
A young businessman who lands a community service sentence falls in with a group of misfit kids who need mentoring. With the help of a pro instructor, he works to get the kids ready for a big underground dance competition.
Here is what reviews are saying:
Yet another selfish and success-obsessed workaholic gets a shot at redemption by mentoring needy inner-city kids in “Battlefield America,” a pic so thoroughly generic as to suggest a contraption assembled from spare parts with the aid of a how-to manual. This latest dance-a-thon dramedy from filmmaker Christopher B. Stokes (“You Got Served”) is littered with energetic yet repetitious production numbers so frantically and confusingly edited that it’s difficult to tell whether the participants actually can dance. Worse, there are some similarly edited conversational sequences that raise the question of whether the actors really can act. Homevid beckons. – Variety
Although it’s grotesque to see pre-teens stomping in underground warehouse-battle settings, at least Battlefield America‘s racial politics are interesting. Those run from lamentable (some of Lewis’s ribbing of his Asian charges) to subversive, as the film reflects real life by positioning Lewis’s crew (largely black, with two Asian kids) as the underdog in a subculture forged by African-Americans and Latinos but where blackness is all but erased, the scene now largely dominated by white and all-Asian crews. But don’t fear; that’s all subtextual. The film’s real lesson is more acceptable to the American palate: Believe in yourself, and you’ll win. – Villiage Voice
“Battlefield America” culminates in a dance-off, hilariously established as taking place at L.A.’s Staples Center despite the interior looking like an Off-Off-Broadway black-box theatre. Sure enough, at least one disapproving parent and another doubting boss show up just in time to discover the worth in what the kids—and Sean—have been doing. Do the “Bad Boys” come out on top? Who cares? It’s all cut together in seemingly random order. More amusing is to consider even more ways the film stumbles. Every time a character learns a lesson, they announce it. Every time they have something important to say, they pull out a folded piece of paper and read a pre-written message—even if it’s literally one sentence long. Want more? How about the hideous scene set at the funeral of young Eric’s (Tristen Carter) cancer-suffering mother where he wails for her while knocking, then literally slamming his fists, on the top of the casket? “Cringe-inducing” doesn’t even begin to describe it. “Battlefield America” is on a plane of awful few movies reach, yet it doesn’t quite warrant a star rating of zero. On whatever planet director Christopher B. Stokes comes from, his heart seems to have been in the right place. By Earth’s standards, he’s made the equivalent of a small-scale disaster. – Dustin Putman
Watch the Battlefield America trailer below: