After watching this Michael Jackson memorial/documentary/concert film, you’ll know at least two things: the King of Pop deserves that title and his London shows would have been spectacular. However there’s no sadness haunting this almost 2 hour long flick. No “R.I.P Michael Jackson-1958-2009″ or any such sentiment. There’s no mention of the controversy surrounding him, or any looks at old photographs of his childhood. In fact nothing is actually learned about the legendary entertainer himself. However we are presented a side of Jackson that we’ve never seen before. In This Is It he looks surprisingly …normal.
He laughs with the concert’s co-creator and director of this film, Kenny Ortega as well as his obviously grateful dancers and band. Jackson doesn’t talk a lot, but is very humble and thankful, and at 50 years old is still as good as ever in this film. He dances like no-one else (but I didn’t spot a Moonwalk) and gives his all throughout the rehearsals in California’s The Forum and Staples Center presented here, apart from the occasional vocal break to save his voice for the show itself. Mostly This Is It consists of Jackson and dancers performing infront of an empty arena and all the hits (Beat It, Earth Song, Billie Jean,etc) sound great.
The toe-tapping film is only in cinemas for 2 weeks, but it has the feel of a DVD extra with its behind the scenes approach. The DVD will be released early next year and for Jackson fans it’s a must have item. It’s not necessary to see it in the cinema unless you can’t wait until next year, but the extra bits made specifically for the concert, such as the 3-D Thriller piece, serve as a reminder of what an awesome show this would’ve been. Jackson truly was a legend and there won’t be another like him. This Is It serves as a tender acknowledgement of the man’s gifts. Simply, Jackson was born to do this and doesn’t want to do it alone. The staff around him are understandably slightly awed in his presence, but he offers only love, with “God bless you,” and “I love you,” being his favourite phrases. The man was a master at his craft and we should be glad that we have this final glimpse of him at work.