Take the Lead
Antonio Banderas stars in this drama inspired by the true story of Pierre Dulaine, an inspirational Manhattan dance teacher and competitor who volunteers his time to teach ballroom dancing to a... View more >
thematic material, language and some violence
Starring Antonio Banderas, Alfre Woodard, Rob Brown... View more >
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Even though you've seen this type of movie before, it's like seeing a romantic comedy whose basic storyline is well travelled. As long as the story is good, you don't mind that you know pretty much how it's going to turn out. It's still fun to watch.
Antonio Banderas does a very good job of playing a ballroom dance instructor who encounters a situation involving a local high school kid and his principal's car. As a result of this chance encounter, he becomes interested in a group of high school kids whose after school activity is detention.
Given the choice between walking away and helping these kids, he decides on the latter, even though the kids aren't very receptive to his ideas of ballroom dancing as fun. They would much prefer their own form of dancing.
Oddly enough, hip hop and ballroom dancing mixes pretty well. There is enough humor and even some drama to keep things interesting, and you end up caring for almost all the characters and wishing the best for them. The soundtrack is also very good, eliciting a rhythmic response from all but the most musically challenged.
So, yes, you've probably seen this type of movie before. But even if you have, Take the Lead is well worth the price of admission and your time.
"Take the Lead" is what I called "Stand and Deliver on the Dance Floor." Antonio Banderes in his best performance in years, played a dance instructor who not only taught a group of dentition students how to dance, but to give them choices in life. It's hip hop meets tinpan alley as the students learn how to do their stuff on the dance floor.
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