3.5 out of 10

Release Date: 3rd May 2013

Director: Ben Gregor

Cast: Theo Stevenson, Akai Osei-Mansfield, Fleur Houdijk, Gamal Tosefa, Dominic Herman-Day, Amelia Clarkson and Ashley Jensen with Mark Heap, Kimberley Walsh, Hanae Atkins, Kieran Lai, Susan Earl, Hugh Dennis, Simon Farnaby with Kevin Bishop and Ashley Walters

Writer: Paul Gersterberger

Trailer: ALL STARS

all stars poster 2 (large)

All Stars is a real throwback to the 1970s/1980s Children’s Film Workshop movies.  It’s true place is on the TV. But saying that, it does have a number of things going for it. The majority of the lead performers have more energy to squander than in the majority of Britpics I’ve seen recently.  Young Tamer Hassan lookalike Theo Stevenson (HORRID HENRY) and Akai Osei-Mansfield (STREETDANCE 2) team up to showcase a talent night to save their youth club. Said venue is about to be demolished and youth worker Ashley Jensen (EXTRAS) can do nothing to halt the destruction.  Yes, this is the plot of a dozen Breakdance movies and originality is on permanent leave but All Stars gets by on a number of decent dance set pieces, a group of dedicated leads and some vaguely embarrassed ‘name’ actors wheeled on as parents and teachers. Of the adult contingent, Ashley Jensen is well cast as a youth leader because they really are that cringey and stupid. Whether this is by accident or design, only Ms. Jensen will ever know.  Only Mark Heap (STARDUST), as the ‘boo-hiss’ property developing villain stands out amongst the grown-ups, giving us a further twist on the ticks and glitches of his Alan Statham grotesque from TVs Green Wing.

All Stars plot runs on rails with the titular ‘All Stars Crew’ having victories, fall outs and an endless series of montages.  In this age of reality TV, where dancing idiots clutter prime time TV this will play well to a large enough quota of tweenies and younger.  For adults, there are few concessions for us beyond spotting the famous actors biding time in their non-roles.  Pity poor Ashley Walters (ANUVAHOOD) as an ‘anti-dancing’ Dad.  Walter’s is a highly talented actor but his amazing film debut in Bullet Boy seems a very long time ago now.  It delivers in the dance sequences but All Stars is largely old hat and comes across as slightly out of tune with what the ‘kids’ may really want.

3.5 out of 10 – Solid dance comedy. Think of it as a superior Streetdance for tweenies and you’ll be on the right track. Not bad. Hard for a ‘grown up’ to relate though. Take some kids and see whether the makers truly hit the mark or not.



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