PLANET B-BOY (Benson Lee, U.S.). 95 minutes. Some subtitles. Thursday (April 24), 9:30 pm, Innis; Saturday (April 26), 11:59 pm, Bloor. Rating: NNNN
Yo! The urban underdog characters from 8 Mile and Step Up have nothing on the real-life homies from every corner of the earth who break their backs to compete in the annual B-Boy Battle Of The Year blowout in Germany.
After providing a quick background on “breaking” – who knew that one sequence from Flashdance would be so inspirational? – director Benson Lee introduces us to crew members in Korea, Japan, the U.S. and France, and then devotes the last half of the film to the white-knuckle competition itself.
The showdown is eye-popping, the ripped and attitude-laden dancers thrilling to watch as they try to psych each other out with their mad skillz. The competition is gender-skewed, for sure, but what’s more revealing is the complete globalization of hip-hop culture.