Despite Glee’s cult-like following, their concert special Glee: The 3D Concert Movie opened this past weekend to surprisingly dismal numbers. Ultimately, the mostly amazing live performances, dance numbers and funny backstage banter with the characters we have grown to love were no match for the high cost of admission caused by unnecessary 3D effects.
The film consisted of a blending of concert footage, fan interviews and stories, and fake behind-the-scene interviews. The cast remained in character the whole time, allowing for plenty of funny backstage banter involving everything from Rachel’s humorous intensity to Brittany’s lovable ditziness. Even Artie stayed in his wheelchair the whole time, although he did get up to dance for the day-dream sequence “Safety Dance” straight from the show. Interesting to note was that although almost every character got at least some personal backstage time with the camera, Dianna Agron and Chord Overstreet were not spoken to once.
The fan commentary got a little repetitive, but they were used by the producers to segue smoothly into 3 mini side stories about regular “Gleeks” and how Glee had affected their lives. Meant to be inspiring and emotional, these side stories fulfilled their purpose for the most part, although it did feel like the show’s producers were being a little self-congratulatory. Fans understand how amazing and revolutionary Glee has been in terms of accepting people as they are, and it was unnecessary to keep emphasizing that point throughout the movie.
All of the numbers in the film were performed on the show first, but in a concert setting they took on a life of their own. Lea Michele performed the Barbara Streisand classic “Don’t Rain on My Parade” with all the enthusiasm and intensity we would expect from Rachel.
Heather Morris channeled the legendary Britney Spears with her high-energy take on “I’m a Slave 4 U,” although it was pretty evident that she was lip-synching.
Even Naya Rivera got her time in the spotlight, with her rendition of “Valerie” which paid homage to the late Amy Winehouse. Gwenyth Paltrow reprised her role as Holly Holiday with her cover of “Forget You.” Darren Criss and The Warblers were on hand and they did not disappoint.
There were plenty of ensemble performances as well. The movie opened with the classic “Don’t Stop Believin’,” and while it may be cliché, it still set a great tone for the movie. The cast also performed “Empire State of Mind,” “Born this Way,” and the Glee original “Loser like Me.” While the movie was fairly enjoyable overall, the 3D special effects were wholly unnecessary. You almost forget they were there until the end when confetti rains on the audience and the cast throws slushies at the screen.
Overall, Glee: The 3D Concert Movie is an enjoyable film, and fans of Glee will love it. However, the paltry 3D effects are not worth the high ticket price, so definitely wait for the DVD release.