Rating: 4½ / 5 stars
By: Sally Burgess
Standout performance: Michael Jackson
Filmed over March-June 2009 in Los Angeles, This Is It captures the intense rehearsals that show that not only did Jackson still have that voice and those moves, but that the London concerts that never happened would have sealed the comeback of one of pop’s biggest icons.
If Michael Jackson were still alive today, the raw footage that makes up This Is It would have never seen the light of day, as it was only ever intended for Jackson’s own personal video library. So seeing This Is It was a tad bittersweet.
Jackson doesn’t sing or dance at full pace here, obviously conserving his energy for the final dress rehearsals in London, but that didn’t matter to me. I remember watching him live at Wembley in 1988 and I felt that same sense of awe seeing him on stage again.
I found it fascinating to watch him at work, and how he interacted with his crew to get the best out of them. Commanding, yet always encouraging and totally hands on.
In a world full of celebrity-lites and musical wannabes, This Is It is a great reminder of what a real superstar looks like.
As the New York Times once said, “There is Michael Jackson, and there is everybody else.”
This movie is now showing at Reading Cinemas in Queenstown.
This review has been written and rated by Sally Burgess of Reading Cinemas Queenstown.
Michael Jackson’s This Is It
Stars: Michael Jackson
Running time: 111 mins