SXSW Film Reviews

SXSW Film Reviews

Doubletime

D: Stephanie Johnes

The tension in Doubletime – which follows two North Carolina double-dutch teams training to compete in a world-championship tournament – lies in deciding who to cheer for: the team offering a support network for inner-city youth? Or the Bouncing Bulldogs, a group of earnest suburban kids trying to prove themselves in an urban, African-American sport. The teams eventually compete against the world's best jumpers, including some high-fashion martial-arts-wielding Japanese kids, and the daunted look on the face of the Bouncing Bulldogs' tiniest 11-year-old phenom says it all. Doubletime echoes both Spellbound and Mad Hot Ballroom in format and irresistible cuteness. But what Doubletime has over those two is the visuals. There's nothing like watching hip-hop-infused double-dutch performed by athletes spinning through the air as ropes twirl around them, especially at New York's Apollo Theater, where the cheering, dancing audience adds as much energy to the film as those onstage do. – Nora Ankrum

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