Work It Review: Sabrina Carpenter, Liza Koshy & Jordan Fisher's sprightly dance film is pleasantly delightful

Sabrina Carpenter, Liza Koshy and Jordan Fisher's dance film is extremely 'High School Musical' levels of predictable yet a pleasantly delightful movie. Read our full review of Work It below.
Work It motivates us to forget our troubles and dance to our own tunes.Work It motivates us to forget our troubles and dance to our own tunes.
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Work It

Work It Cast: Sabrina Carpenter, Liza Koshy, Jordan Fisher

Work It Director: Laura Terruso

Work It Stars: 3/5

Choreography by Aakomon Jones; is the introductory slate in the opening credits of Work It and justifiably so as it's the dancing sequences that are the highlight of this extremely 'High School Musical' levels of predictable yet pleasantly delightful movie. A group of talented teenage characters played by good-looking actors in their late 20s make a ragtag dance group to win a big dance competition is something that sounds like every other dance film and yet, this 193 minute tightly-framed less melodramatic Laura Terruso directorial manages to triumph above its predecessors and give us the perfect quarantine popcorn film.

Let's first get to the storyline which centers on Quinn, a socially awkward teenager who has the perfect GPA and starts her morning by listening to Ted Talks. Quinn and her mother's dream is for her to attend Duke University of which her late father was an alumnus. Trouble arises when her perfect student profile for qualifying is too monotonous, stale and needs a little pizzazz. To get in, Quinn lies about being a part of the award-winning Thunderbirds dance team from her school when in actuality, there wasn't a single dancing bone in her petite, stiff body. Hence, the socially imbalanced teenager recruits a team of misfits which includes her best friend and fellow Thunderbird Jasmine (Liza Koshy).

There's also the love interest in the charismatic award-winning dancer Jacob (Jordan Fisher) who had to give up his dream due to his injured knee. After being mesmerised by Quinn's never say die spirit, Jacob is suckered in to choreograph Team TBD (To Be Determined; though we prefer Jasss Quinn tbh!) against the Thunderbirds which is led by the over-the-top mean boy Julliard (Keiynan Lonsdale) whose 'I, Me & Myself' attitude is just as crisp as his powerful moves.

When it comes to the performances, what's especially intriguing about Sabrina's act is that we're aware she's a good dancer but Carpenter has to make it believable that Quinn can't dance to save her life and very slowly starts to get her groove on, which she does earnestly. A makeout session with Jacob apparently assisted in her loosening up by a high margin! The larger than life personality of Liza was a perfect casting choice for Quinn's best friend Jasmine as she lights up our screen with not just her dancing skill but also manages to make the corny dialogues seem witty with her dry humour delivery. The friendship between Quinn and Jasmine has that likeable quality that doesn't feel forced and rather relatable. Jordan has a major fan following as John Ambrose from To All The Boys 2 and even though he has a limited character arc in Work It, the actor somehow lights up every frame he is in. It's especially the intimate dance sequences between Fisher and Carpenter that is a personal favourite.

As for the other members of TBD, we have a nerd who can do a backflip, a goth who reads Friedrich Nietzsche, a really bad football player who is secretly a better dancer, a fashionable DJ and even an Indian teenager named Priya Singh (Indiana Mehta) who prefers dancing over sarees. None of these characters feel memorable enough as their story arcs are not well thought after. Maybe that is what Laura was aiming at; skip the drama; enjoy the dance!

ALSO READ: The Kissing Booth 2 Review: Joey King & Jacob Elordi's rom com is what To All The Boys 2 should have been

Like I noted in the beginning, it's the intricate yet simple choreography sets that seem easy to imitate thanks to the carefully picked actors who dance as well as they look on screen. Add the Netflix approved catchy soundtrack and you have an easy breezy blend of art meets film. There's a sense of letting go within the tightly knitted personality of Quinn which is especially shown in her impromptu library performance along with the final winning act.

"In the end, Einstein was right. Dancers are the athletes of God. And, as it turns out, I'm one of them, because it's actually not that hard to find a four-count or the beat of your own heart. All you have to do is listen to it. That's all I've got figured out. The rest is TBD," Quinn ponders towards the end. Work It is in no way a pioneer project for the genre that it falls into but is simply celebrating dance as a source of enjoyment. It's telling us to forget our troubles and dance to our own tunes.

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