Battle of the Year

First slide

A trite underdog story provides the framework for a series of energetic break-dancing scenes in director Benson Lee wide-eyed fictional variation on his 2007 documentary "Planet B-Boy." Anxious for the American team he sponsors to win the international competition of the title, a hip-hop mogul (Laz Alonso) hires an old friend (Josh Holloway) from his own groove-busting days to put together an all-star line-up (featuring singer Chris Brown and Jon Cruz among others) and mold them into a cohesive unit. Aided by a young assistant (Josh Peck) and by a choreographer (Caity Lotz), the coach struggles to instill notions of unity and teamwork into his ego-driven charges, even as he battles the drinking problem he developed following the tragic death of his wife and teenage son. Though the street vocabulary deployed by all sets this subculture exploration off limits to younger moviegoers, grown-ups will find little to bother them in its predictable Hollywood homilies about the need for self-confidence, hard work and tolerance.

Watch out for: A fleeting scatological image, mature references, including to homosexuality, a few uses of profanity, considerable crude and crass language, numerous obscene gestures.

Rated: A-III, adults; MPAA: PG-13 - parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2013