Film Screening 13th March, 2001

Poster for Bootmen


8:00 PM, 13th March, 2001

  • M
  • 96 mins
  • 2000
  • Dein Perry
  • Steve Worland, Hilary Linstead, Dein Perry
  • Adam Garcia, Sam Worthington, Sophie Lee, Susie Porter

One of the things people say about modern action masters like Jackie Chan, Jet Li, or John Woo is that they stage fight scenes like they're a dance sequence. Dein Perry's Bootmen stages dance sequences like they're fight scenes. Perry manages to give tap dancing a raw, tough, bar-room-brawl edge to it, with a firm beat to it that draws you in. And all of the dance bits work in their own separate ways((mdash))from the solos to the ensemble pieces (including a hard-rock backing band((mdash))trust me, it works!) to the finale with massive bunches of bootpeople all over the place.

As for the story... argh, do I have to? Okay, well, as with practically every other musical or sorta-musical movie you've seen, it's a big pile-up of cliches, from "let's put on a show" to "father and son have trouble bonding" to "two brothers are rivals for the same girl". It doesn't matter too much, as the story stuff is filmed and performed with a decent amount of energy, and gets out of the way for the dancing sequences. It should be pointed out, though, if you are going to bring your mum along, that there are a fair few four-letter words thrown about, and the occasional burst of low-level violence. So if you're at all interested in tap, have an abiding interest in flannelette, or just want to know what Grommit from "Paradise Beach" is doing nowadays, this film's got what you're looking for.

Simon Tolhurst