'This Is It', the movie that shows Michael Jackson in rehearsal during the last few months of his life, offers no insight into the megastar’s life or death. What it does show, apparently, is a whole lot of world-class performing.
For Michael Jackson fans desperate to know whether their idol had any premonitions of his impending death, the movie This Is It, which premieres around the world today, is apparently going to disappoint. Based on 120 hours of rehearsal footage for the ill-fated residency at London’s O2 arena, which was Jackson’s last-ditch attempt at servicing a reported US$500-million in debt, the film is said to reveal almost nothing about the entertainer’s state of mind during the last months of his life.
But if watching a 50-year-old megastar perform a generous selection of his greatest hits is your thing, This Is It promises to deliver on the price of admission and then some. According to those privileged few who have already seen it – even the New York Times, for some reason, didn’t crack an invite to the media screening – the movie is skillfully edited, showing song sequences in their entirety. Also, there’s a liberal sprinkling of old-school Jacksonesque sentimentality, with anthems to peace and harmony introduced by wide-eyed children in enchanted forests.
The movie cost US$60-million to make and is directed by Kenny Ortega, who – as the director of the original O2 concerts – has plenty experience on stage and almost none in film. Still, the investment of production house Sony appears more than safe. In his day, nobody pulled crowds or ticket sales quite like Jackson. The overnight queues for tickets to This Is It pre-screenings prove that even in death he’s lost none of his sparkle.
WATCH: ‘This is it’ Official Trailer