It is seldom that biographies or back stage shots make into a great movie but in this case it is King of Pop Michael Jackson or just 'MJ' to his fans. His comeback concerts will surely go down as one of the greatest spectacles never seen. This Is It is named after the series of concerts that Michael left unfinished and it gives the viewers a chance to glance at what King of Pop was preparing for his 'Final Curtain Call'.
Kenny Ortega who was also the director of Michael's concert shows for a moment makes us forget that the greatest popstar of his generation isn't alive. Come four months after his death it was made with such care that it doesn't like a quick montage of shots. The rehearsal footage is spectacular with some mesmerising songs and exuberant dancing. Perhaps, Michael in his sixth sense wanted to give his best before denying the world 50 comeback concerts.
The film opens with a short text introduction stating the purpose of the footage and its intent. After short dialogues from various dancers, Kenny talks the original concert opening sequence involving a body suit made from screens which display fast clips and images with bright intensity from which Jackson emerges on stage. Immediately after this, Jackson begins 'Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' first solo, and then half way in is joined by dancers.
It gets emotional when MJ sings 'I'll Be There' part of a medley of Jackson 5 songs. His 'Heal the World' shows the human side of the man who was at times demonised by tabloids. There is some high-tech stuff too especially when we come to Thriller where some green-screen visual effects that were created for the concert tour are showcased including a new 3-D collection of the Thriller. The presentation of 'Smooth Criminal' is even better.
Jackson looks a little frail just weeks before his death yet he keep up with dancers half his age. He is seen trying to perfect his moves which made him the greatest ever popstar he was. Kenny gives some funny moments to the movie attempting Michael's dance moves. The sweetest moment in the film comes when Jackson gives a genuine smile when he and his dancers perfect a dance step.
Although That Is It has a 112 minutes runtime it seems short as it is the last opportunity to watch the pop icon's last brush with music. This is It does have some genuinely touching moments. The audio of the movie is awesome and the movie is a winner in all technical aspects. The movie has a G rating and require parental guidance for nothing else but MJ's dance moves.
The movie works because Kenny also doesn't try to play with the sentiments of the viewers by making them cry over MJ's death. Nor does he cut any song in between to make it look like a documentary. That Is It doesn't try to deify Jackson or explain him it tries to celebrate the life of a man who entertained millions in his life time. The movie doesn't make any great revelations about the moments for which he became infamous. It is more like a live performance by MJ than a tribute to him.