Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away

2012, PG, 91 min. Directed by Andrew Adamson. Starring Erica Linz, Igor Zaripov.

REVIEWED By Kimberley Jones, Fri., Dec. 28, 2012

Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away

To call Cirque du Soleil mere circus is to undersell the astonishing breadth and vision of the Canadian troupe-turned-entertainment empire. And to call Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away a movie – while technically accurate – is a wet willy to all those other movies out there toiling away at narrative logic, dramatic stakes, and identifiable characters.

I don’t mean characters we can identify with – I mean actual characters the audience can identify on sight, if not by name. This 3-D film offers up a kind of pupu platter of seven Cirque du Soleil shows, with little niblets of filmed performances from O, , Viva Elvis, Criss Angel Believe, Zumanity, and The Beatles Love, strung together with the very thin connective tissue of an original story, penned by Shrek 2 writer/director Andrew Adamson. (James Cameron and Vince Pace engineered the 3-D design.) In the framing story, a circusgoer (Linz) falls in love with an aerialist (Zaripov) and chases him into a beautifully rendered but bizarro land wherein Elvis’ giddy trampoline parkour abuts, say, the terrifying, pogrom-like human Plinko set-piece from . I have no quibble with the actual Cirque du Soleil shows – the dizzying acrobatics are the kind that make you talk back to the screen in gosh-wow disbelief, and the designs are just as thrilling, with influences extending from steampunk to glam rock, Busby Berkeley to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. But when the nominal leads are dull as dishwater, and, minute-to-minute, the damn thing doesn’t make any sense, the glut of astonishing acrobatics has a deadening effect. Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away is fine to look at, but good luck feeling anything.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Andrew Adamson Films
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
The Pevensie kids are summoned back to Narnia for yet another mystical adventure based on C.S. Lewis' series of fantasy books.

Marc Savlov, May 23, 2008

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Fusillade No. 1 in Disney's presumed seven-film adaptation of C.S. Lewis' beloved children's tales is marred by dodgy CGI work and windy pacing.

Marc Savlov, Dec. 9, 2005

More by Kimberley Jones
Review: <I>A Discovery of Witches</i>
Review: A Discovery of Witches
Miniseries shakes Twilight's shadow for a more feminist fantasy

Jan. 16, 2019

AFS Spotlights the Early Work of <I>Support the Girls</I> Director Andrew Bujalski
AFS Spotlights the Early Work of Support the Girls Director Andrew Bujalski
Three from the heart

Jan. 4, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away, Andrew Adamson, Erica Linz, Igor Zaripov

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle