Rehashing yesterday's musicals, 'Burlesque' squanders its hottest asset

Fred Astaire used to insist his onscreen dances be shot wide and virtually uncut, so there’d be no doubt the performers were doing it for real and not faking it for the camera. Antin takes the opposite approach, fragmenting each number into quick glimpses of gestures, so we get no sense of how the dancers are moving through space. What you remember when it’s over is the impact of Aguilera’s voice, but not what she’s singing; montages of body parts, but not the choreography; and Aguilera’s face, music-video-trained to hold a close-up so emotionally exaggerated, you might even call it a burlesque.

Burlesque was written and directed by Steve Antin; and stars Christina Aguilera, Cher and Kristen Bell. Rated PG-13. Countywide.

Old hat
Stephen Vaughn
Old hat

This review appeared in print as "Stripped: Rehashing yesterday’s musicals, Burlesque squanders its hottest asset: Xtina."

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