Movie review: ‘Battle of the Year’

A scene from Benson Lee’s “Battle of the Year.”
A scene from Benson Lee’s “Battle of the Year.”Screen Gems

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It’s one thing for the French to beat us at speed-typing in “Populaire” – but hip-hop? Apparently that had been the case for 15 years, with US teams always losing in the annual b-boy (a.k.a. breakdancing) “Battle of the Year” in Montpellier, France. And if it wasn’t the French beating us, it was those darn Koreans. So much for American exceptionalism.

In “Battle of the Year” the film, director Benson Lee (“Planet B-Boy”) takes this premise and subjects it to a dramatic mash-up of the sports movie and musical genres. Formulaic though it is, the film adds pizzazz to the old conventions. But when it comes to the dancing itself, it’s scattershot. By the time it reaches the final showdown, this “Battle” has been lost.

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