Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away 3D (PG)

Program 91 December 21st, 2012
By Alan Scherstuhl
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 Adamson Igor Zaripov, Erica Kathleen Linz Andrew Adamson James Cameron, Andrew Adamson Paramount Pictures