Spectacular! opens with brooding rock singer Nikko (Nolan Gerard Funk) being unceremoniously kicked out of his band and dumped by his rocker girlfriend (the “double-dump”) in one gut-wrenching move. He is quickly consoled by bubbly Courtney who has just witness the band’s electrifying show and wants to offer him more – a lead role in her band.
Courtney (Australian actress Tammin Sursok) is the female lead singer in a show choir called Spectacular, complete with costumes, choreographed routines, jazz hands and of course – a bitter arch rival group named Ta-Da (as in, “ta-daaa!”) featuring lead vocalists Royce (Spectacular’s former leading man) and Tammi (Victoria Justice from Zoey 101).
Nikko, who needs the prize money on offer to record his demo agrees to team up with Courtney and join the choir. Of course running into his old band is a humiliating experience but just the motivation he needs to transform the choir from dorky drama kids to championship finals-worthy material.
The movie carries on in the same theme as High School Musical, featuring the same music team behind the smash teen movie. The cast are an all-singing, all-dancing collection from all walks of life, and it is hard not to like them (especially Tajeep, the nerdy smart alec who surprises us all by busting out some beat boxing – and of course jaded music teacher, who has a surprise of his own). The practice scenes are fun with a good beat, guaranteed to get your feet tapping and the kiddies dancing in the lounge room.
Of course with video games playing such a leading role in teenagers’ daily lives, it was not surprising to encounter a touching bonding moment over Rock Band (sorry, it was ‘Rock the World’ – but we all know what it was supposed to symbolise); however I thought it was a nice tie-in to the movie’s inclusion on Gaming Angels.
Your typical coming-of-age movie, Spectacular deals with issues of love, friendship, identity and ultimately deciding your own path. It’s a bumpy ride for both Nikko and Courtney and in the end Nikko ultimately has to make a decision that will determine whether his journey with Spectacular has simply been a fun trip, or the beginning of Nikko’s new direction with his new friends by his side.
The showdown between the rival choirs culminates in an explosive, emotional finale. If your tweens liked High School Musical, this movie is worth renting – I guarantee you’ll be singing the songs all week.
The disc also features a stack of bonus content including music videos from the film, each with karaoke versions; a video diary of the film’s making by Victoria Justice; a behind the scenes feature which highlights all the work put into getting the movie’s choreography just right (and how much fun the cast had learning it!); the cast’s goofy look at Five Things You Need to be a Show Choir Superstar; a quick dance tutorial from choreographer RJ Durell and Nolan Gerard Funk which allows you to learn some basic moves and then put it together with the Spectacular team to the final piece, ‘Something to Believe In’. There is of course, a few trailers included on the disc as well.
Review product was provided by Madman Entertainment, and does not affect the outcome of this review.