BMZ Review: SkyDance
By Herb Lash
Written by: Herb Lash
Source: Big Movie Zone
Date: March 2002
SKYDANCE follows in the footsteps of the Imax films WINGS OF COURAGE and ZACH'S FLYING G's in its attempt to frame and dress up spectacular aerial footage with a bit of drama. Like both of these other films, SKYDANCE is less than successful. It is at least refreshing to watch a new Big Movie that does not fall into one of the standard wildlife, science or discovery genres - but it is difficult to determine what sort of audience the filmmakers intend for this film.
The plot is supposed to offer up a bit of breezy romance. Journalist Lara can't help but take a shine to dashing, hot shot aerobatic pilot Alex. She maintains a professional demeanor while interviewing him for a magazine article, but love is in the air. Alex's associate and fellow pilot Jennifer watches the budding romance from afar - she is none too pleased by the obvious love sparks. Jennifer is Alex's equal in the sky, but she likes to press the envelope, take chances and play dirty. Alex invites Laura to tag along as copilot in an air rally that will have them zipping across the French countryside and into Paris. Jennifer decides to rain on their parade - she sabotages Alex's navigational computer and uses some stealthy glider flying to tail the couple. But Alex is up to the task - nothing is going to stop him when it comes to the rally or wooing Laura. . .
The premise here is promising enough - a flyboy and a sexy journalist take to the skies of France. The film seeks to spice up travelogue with romance and jet fuel. The French countryside upholds it's end of the bargain: Mont Saint Michel, Omaha Beach, rolling wine country, Mont Blanc - it is nearly impossible for the camera to find something less than beautiful on the ground. But postcard images alone are not enough to sustain interest - and so dreamy adventure takes hold. The romance is beyond tame - Mickey and Minnie Mouse generate more on screen heat than Alex and Laura. And yet the film has a great deal in common with the average porno film. The story is built around a few terrific acrobatic stunts and hair raising fly-bys - but everything leading up to and following these moneyshots is a silly afterthought. Stagy scenes, painfully stilted dialogue, and a grab bag of visual clichés give the actors little room to do anything but flail hopelessly about. The writing is not sharp enough to even insult the intelligence - all the audience can do is wait for our couple to stop talking and get back up in the air to do their thing.
There are some great Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald tunes that keep things bouncing along. At least a whiff of authentic romance in the air when the music is playing and the French countryside is streaming beneath the unseen characters.
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