- Movie Rating -

Body Rock (1984)

| September 28, 1984

Body Rock is yet another breakdancing movie but unlike the charming Breakin’ which surprised me with its energy and its generosity, this movie is constructed out of nervous merchandising.  Somewhere in the middle of trying to catch the bandwagon of the music video craze, the producers serve up a story that they have no interest in telling.

Lorenzo Lamas from “Falcon Crest” stars as Chilly-D, a young New York performer whose whole life is wrapped up in rapping and dancing with this group The Body Rocks.  One night he gets an offer to perform at a classy nightclub and things start to happen for him, that is, until he starts to forget his culture, his roots, and the people helped him along the way.

If that sounds like a stale plot summary that’s because it is, and that’s because that’s all the plot this movie has.  Inside of that prefabricated drama lies the movie’s diversions into songs, dances and the trappings of music videos.  The producers apparently don’t think that you’ll appreciate a well-told story, so they keep sidelining the movie in favor of a lot of trendy gimmicks.

And even the gimmicks don’t work.  Early in the movie, Chilly and his buddy pay a visit to a street performer named Magick (La Ron Smith) who doesn’t look old enough to have dropped out of the fifth grade.  After some hustling, he offers to show Chilly his moves, and yes, he has a lot of good moves.  But the movie then uses computers and special effects to speed up his dance routine.  Why?  The kid can dance, and for a moment we’re mesmerized until the producers feel that they have to intervene on his talent for no reason what-so-ever. 

Smith if evocative of a lot of Body Rock.  The producers want to dress the movie up like a music video so they can sell it.  From that, I kept thinking back to Breakin’ where I was dazzled by the breakdancing, by the moves, by the geometric way that the dancers could manipulate their bodies.  They were talented enough, they didn’t need help from a computer.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1984) View IMDB Filed in: Musical