Take the Lead
Might contain spoilers.
I’ve long had fond memories of the film, which, it transpires, are completely justified. It’s recognizably a movie from 2006, but rather well made. Indeed, its construction is significantly superior to its contemporary and one of my favourites, Step Up, although the music and dancing aren’t as memorable. Jenna Dewan certainly has a very different role in this one, with hardly any lines this time.
Antonio Banderas is the epitome of class as Pierre. The dance he performs with Morgan to impress the
students is incredible. Laura Benanti is superfluous as Tina, his partner who’s ‘secretly’ in love
with him; John Ortiz’s role is even more thankless as the inexplicably antagonistic Mr. Temple, whom
the story rightly doesn’t bother spending much time on. Marcus T. Paulk’s Eddie steals scene after
scene. (I couldn’t stop laughing at Augustine noticing a grinning Eddie opening the door for a woman
and telling him to
sit yo’ ass down.)
Dante Basco is a good dancer but the way he says his lines is amusingly overwrought, perhaps because he was playing a high school student at the age of 31. Rock and LaRhette’s dancing at the end is graceless and unimpressive compared to the rest of it; surprising, since both of them do better in other scenes. Aside from that, there are a few awkward moments where the movie is unsure of how to move to the next scene, such as from the students as they’re about to learn something to Pierre walking outside the class.
I was taken aback to see Shawand McKenzie and Brandon D. Andrews credited only as
- My man Zuko!↩