This Is It chronicles the development and practice of the last tour Michael Jackson had planned before his death. It would have been a huge live show with a lot of video support, dancers and a live band that in the end never came to pass.
I’m not that much of a Michael Jackson fan and it really was more of a coincidence that I actually watched this film. And it quickly became obvious that I was really not its target audience: This movie was made for fans who’ll regret until the end that they didn’t get to see the actual show.
I’m pretty damn certain that This Is It would have been one hell of a spectacle. It would have been bombastic and probably not only for Michael Jackson fans. But while that show shines through the raw rehearsal materials from time to time, Ortega tries so hard to recreate it that he forgot to make a film that actually has a story to tell or something to stay.
Admittedly I was interested most in the parts that most people probably wouldn’t have cared for. Like the dancers auditioning for the show and their adoration for Michael Jackson and how they relate to him and what an influence he was for them – I think I would have enjoyed that film much more than the film I got.
Especially since they obviously also didn’t have enough raw material for an entire film, making the editing extremely weird and clunky. They could have stretched it more with the stuff that was actually interesting.
And every time Michael Jackson himself showed up and gave his input, things just got bizarre. Apparently we are expected to see his genius all on our own, but I did not get it. I just thought that this guy was probably high (on pain meds) and seriously screwed in the head. As he would have said it, “With love. L. O. V. E.”
Summarising: Only for MJ fans and lovers.