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Thursday, 30 November 2017

Retro Review: Drumline (2002)

Drumline
2002
Cast: Nick Cannon, Zoe Saldana, Orlando Jones, Leonard Roberts, Harry Shum Jr, J. Anthony Brown
Genre: Musical Comedy-Drama
U.S Box Office Gross: over $56 million 

Plot:  A band director recruits a Harlem street drummer to play at a Southern University 






'Can I ''Not'' Get A Drumroll, Please?'


A marching band version of Fame, this teen-based drama starred a then-unknown Nick Cannon, long before he graced U.S audiences as the presenter of the hit reality TV show, America's Got Talent from 2009 to 2016 for 8 seasons. Courtesy of Fox, Drumline is a drama about marching bands, but it is also a movie that even at over 2 hours long, it doesn't go to great lengths to make it more satisfying and entertaining enough. Not only it is completely underwhelming, the material itself is sleep-inducing.


Devon Miles from the Bronx is lured in by a fictitious Atlanta A&T and enrolled onto a highly prestigious music program. The thing is he is cocky and arrogant and can't read music, but still, that doesn't stop him in his attempts to becoming the best drummer he can be.  

Going in with low expectations, I see this movie like a version of a cheerleading film, but a cliched one that doesn't offer anything new or great. 

A film about a marching band sounds banal, but the film should have gone to lengths to make it more entertaining with lively characters, dialogue and amusing scenarios. Though I'm sure the real-life experiences in attending and seeing these types of performances are far more entertaining than what was depicted in Drumline. Likewise, there was hardly any marching that occurred during its sequences. It wasn't hard to see why with movies such as this one, Nick Cannon's acting career didn't really take off and he didn't go on to become a major Hollywood actor. As much as he tries, he lacks that extra something that other performers possess. 

The film's runtime should have been cut and have half an hour removed, as the story felt like it was dragging on and on for ages. 

I was also a little shocked at the use of profanity for a teen movie and but for some of the marching band and drumming sections, the story itself is just utterly one-dimensional and eye-rollingly vanilla and stoic, along with a love subplot that appears to be tacked on, just for the sake of it. It would have been better if the story was about a set of characters, as opposed to just one character, where a marching band had to go to lengths and beyond and practice hard to compete against their rivals and to have them put on a great show in the end. Much better that way than what the writer has opted for this movie. Additionally, the characters are all stocky and lacking any depth of personality. 





Final Verdict:

Tedious viewing with a tedious screenplay, this was a laborious watch from beginning to end, which makes little attempt to entertain and engage audiences into the storyline. It was so laborious and a total drone, I let everything else, but for some of the drumming sections, go over my head. 

Blandly written with a direction that is not just predictable & is extremely taut & lacking in depth, Drumline would have worked better perhaps as a comedy that pokes fun at drumming. 

But the bottom line is, this is a bore, overlong and but for some of the drumming scenes, it has virtually no charm. 


Overall:


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