When the students at his new school learn of his polished musical talent they rope him into creating music for the school's dance squad. While overcoming his own demons he finds himself in the middle of a township full of hurt, including the dance squad's female leader and his own therapist. Of course what ensues is a sappy hodgepodge of genres that never (ever) meld.
The cast is strong, featuring the reliable talents of Josh Duhamel, Laura Dern, Tom Everett Scott and Maria Bello, and they are joined by the youthful presence of Lucas Till, Katrina Norman and Jae Head. There's no question that it's an impressive line-up, however, none of them are able to overcome the stodgy writing and the conflicting fusion of genres.
I generally reject dance movies, and I only respond well to exceptional examples. Contemporary dance flicks are the worst, and despite clear talent and craft I can't help but think that all of the dancers look like morons. Good choreography is clearly an invaluable art-form, but when set against an urban hip-hop soundtrack, it only multiplies the number of dickheads on screen. BRAVETOWN suffers this symptom in an agonising fashion. With a strong anti-war sentiment at the heart of the story, all of the dancing seems irrelevant and often inappropriate.
The film's drama is sincere enough, and there are moments that do resonate. The aftermath of war and the psychological impact it has on community is an important subject, and while the best of intentions try to relay this sentiment to a youthful audience, the message is lost in a series of uninspired, lacklustre dance sequences and a handful of unresolved storylines. Had director Daniel Duran chosen to ditch the dance angle then perhaps his story might have translated into something more important.