The ravishing and kitschy Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away is the rare movie whose title serves as an accurate indicator of whether you would enjoy seeing it. If you think it sounds good, it damn-straight is; if not, beware – this has all the trapeezing harlequins you fear. The aesthetic is circus meets Ovid meets Busby Berkeley. Against a dreamscape of horizon-wide curtains and stagecraft marvels like a swimming pool that can become the moon itself, a squad of contortionists, acrobats, and the like leap and soar and transform themselves into impossible things – in their skintight finery, they achieve everything movie superheroes do, in the requisite (but impressive) 3D. Director Andrew Adamson offers acts from seven Cirque shows; the best here are the simplest, where the eye can follow each body's flouting of the rules of gravity or bone structure. Several carnivalesque numbers are muddled to annoyance. When a riot of Yellow Submarine-looking characters, including an apparent Klansman and Dr. Evil, aimlessly mill about to "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite," the effect is like watching a sinister Ice Capades. Much better is the trampoline thrills of Viva ELVIS, where the King's earthy music grounds the scenario-- but not the leapers. Aerialists Erica Kathleen Linz and Igor Zaripov star in a goofy framing story about a young woman who visits a traveling carnival only to get sucked in Cirque world. Like the movie, that beats the Vegas ticket price.
Andrew AdamsonIgor Zaripov, Erica Kathleen LinzAndrew AdamsonJames Cameron, Andrew AdamsonParamount Pictures