Perhaps the only real preface that this needs is that this concert film, perhaps more so than most, is really geared towards the fans of the show. I’m not sure how it would translate to someone who doesn’t watch it regularly. For the record, I didn’t see the first season and do not care for the term “Gleek” in general, therefore, I will not refer to myself as such despite watching the show.
So, basically, if you like the show you’ll likely enjoy this, if you don’t like the show you won’t care for this because this has a lot of the same pros and cons as the show does. What disappoints in a new and surprising way are some of the technical elements of the film.
The cinematography of the concert scenes is trite and facile and doesn’t engage you at all. A further problem is few and far between are the times where you get a true sense of depth which is an issue in a 3D film on an aesthetic level and on a value level since the poorly shot 3D is costing you extra money.
The editing within songs during the film and of the film as a whole is also a bit uninspired the pattern is quickly and easily decipherable and not very creative in the least.
What is not a given that takes this film a slight cut above things like the Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana film and the Jonas Brothers are the interstitial segments where fans of the show discuss what it has meant to them and how the show has made a difference in their life. We learn a little of their story and also of the positive impact that the show is made. Aside from the focal stories there are random interview snippets and of course the four-year-old Warbler wannabe who is hilarious.
Another aspect that lends this film a bit of a dynamic element is that for the most part you see the actors offstage staying in character, which leads to some very humorous moments throughout. This fine line between documentary and narrative makes the film a little more interesting than it otherwise would be.
The songs that are chosen are great and are performed very well and due to the concert nature of the performance are not overproduced. You get to see Lea Michele, Chris Colfer and Amber Riley really sing without exorbitent amounts of affectation. It also showcases Mark Salling who is likely the most underrated of the show’s performers. The concert’s set list is a bit like the show, however, it’s at times a bit unbalanced and skewed towards a few performers but eventually everyone in the film does get their moment.
While it can’t even be called the best film of its subgenre this year it is as mentioned before better in terms of overall content than those in the past few years. It’s light enjoyable fare that will definitely please fans if not necessarily create new ones.