Saturday 4 May 2013

"All Stars" (Metro 03/05/13)

All Stars (U) 106 mins **

Apologies if this stirs unpleasant memories, but do you remember those Nativity films? The various StreetDances? Horrid Henry: The Movie? Those behind this pretty naff mash-up-slash-cash-in really hope you do – and furthermore, that you’d be willing to hand over the hard-earned so your offspring can sit through the same plot points again. Ben Gregor’s film at least cloaks its cynicism with a bright, 3D-enhanced cheeriness. As the Hackney schoolkids staging a talent contest to save their youth club, Theo Stevenson and Akai are sparky enough, while – with the exception of John Barrowman, uncharacteristically muted as a depressed dad – the grown-ups providing the exposition and squash (Ashley Jensen, Kimberley Girl-Aloud, TV’s Hugh Dennis) wear semi-sincere smiles. It’s still best left to easily pleased youngsters, who might just overlook its familiarity and airheaded, Cowell-era bandwagon-hopping. Bodypopping as a recession-buster? It’s a no from me.

All Stars is in cinemas nationwide.

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