Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away

The talented combination of Academy award-winning filmmaker James Cameron and the renowned Cirque du Soleil combine in a new film entitled “Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away”. For those unfamiliar with the dazzling and spectacular world of Cirque du Soleil, the company has created several amazing shows which blend music, costuming, innovative sets, and amazing feats of acrobatic, gymnastic and performance art. Many of their shows tour the world and several are in permanent residence in Vegas.

The movie stars Erica Linz as Mia who, after witnessing an unexpected event at a local circus, soon finds herself in another world that is comprised of bright star-filled skies, ever present mist, illuminated tents, and all manner of dazzling yet odd residents.

Mia is attempting to find the trapeze artist who disappeared during his performance and as she journeys around the strange new landscape she witnesses firsthand all sorts of incredible feats performed by the Cirque du Soleil cast. There are dazzling routines performed in water as well as aerial displays, each one is framed by Mia as she journeys to a new area.

While at first I found this captivating it soon became a little repetitious for me. After seeing eight live Cirque du Soleil shows I was quickly able to discern several routines that I’d seen previously. Selections from KA, Viva Elvis, Verekai and more are all being re-created up on the screen. This is not to devalue the stunning and amazing performances but after seeing them live, the acts seemed diminished to me up on the big screen as you do not get the full visual and aural experience of watching it live.

The credits verified that many of the sequences in the film are taken from their performances in Vegas and other venues. Aside from the 3-D aspect it brought to mind watching several of the shows when they’re broadcast on Bravo. While technically brilliant and amazing the movie is an extremely poor substitute for seeing them in person.

I have to say I was also disappointed with the 3-D aspect as James Cameron, who brought stunning visuals to “Avatar” to the point where one believed they were truly immersed upon the alien moon Pandora, came up short this time around. While there were some spectacular 3-D shots with the water based routines as well as some aerial features there simply wasn’t enough there to enhance the film beyond what was already presented by the performers.

This was a very hard review to write as this was not really a movie where one can bring a lot of attention to the acting. The story was little more than a framework to put a highlight reel of performances from many of their shows.

If you have never seen a Cirque du Soleil performance by all means I definitely recommend seeing this film but for those hard-core fans who are regular attendees of Cirque du Soleil, one might want to wait to catch this on DVD and make sure to catch a live show in person the next time that they are able.

3 stars out of 5