Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
100 Greatest Videos Games Of All Time
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Empire Visits The Hobbit's VFX Team
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
4Music's Size Does Matter
Introducing your new favourite app
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Christina Aguilera
Cher
Stanley Tucci
Cam Gigandet
Kristen Bell
Eric Dane
Peter Gallagher.
Directors
Steve Antin.
Screenwriters
Steve Antin.
Running Time
118 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Internet's Own Boy: The Story Of Aaron Swartz, The
4 Star Empire Rating
A Walk Among The Tombstones
4 Star Empire Rating
Wish I Was Here
3 Star Empire Rating
Grand Seduction, The
2 Star Empire Rating
Keeper Of Lost Causes, The
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Two Days, One Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Some Like It Hot
5 Star Empire Rating
A Hard Day's Night
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
5 Star Empire Rating

Burlesque
Don’t stop believing!


submit to reddit


Plot
Ali (Aguilera) is a smalltown girl who heads to the big city and finds her spiritual home in a revue theatre called Burlesque, run by singer and dancer Tess (Cher). Working as a waitress, Ali learns the routines and dreams of a spot on-stage, while developing a friendship with bartender Jack (Gigandet).


Review
Burlesque
Browse more images »
Very occasionally, there are films that can only be enjoyed ironically. This is one of them. If writer-director Steven Antin and his team set out to parody the little-girl-with-a-big-dream trope, they are filmmakers of considerable skill. If this is a straightfaced story, then it’s on near-Glitter or Showgirls levels. But unlike those two turkeys, whether you’re laughing with this or at it, Burlesque has enough energy and pizzazz to keep you laughing throughout.

Christina Aguilera, in her debut starring role, is decent as smalltown girl-with-a-heart-of-gold Ali Rose, who comes to LA with dreams of working as a singer and dancer. She pitches up at Cher’s financially troubled but artistically sound theatre The Burlesque Lounge and finagles her way into a waitressing job. It’s instantly obvious to us that she should be on stage singing, but Cher and her partner Sean (Stanley Tucci) are too busy dealing with ripped costumes and catty star Nikki (a brunette Kristen Bell) to notice. There’s a love interest in bartender/would-be composer Jack (Cam Gigandet), and sinister property developer Marcus (Eric Dane) is circling both the theatre and Ali, and that’s all you need to know to figure out every beat of the plot. The script, too, is pretty awful: in a story as campy as this, you need more than one killer line, and the best on offer here is Nikki’s defiant assertion that, “I will not be upstaged by some slut with mutant lungs!”

The film’s strength is less in the plot itself and more in the cast’s commitment to the idea of its plot. So Cher (almost) frowns and (definitely) pouts as the financial troubles mount, heedless of the fact that cutting the club’s marabou-and-sequins budget alone would solve her problems once and for all. Aguilera, in a perversely underwritten lead role, transcends her paper-thin part every time she’s let loose — and kills in the musical numbers — while Dane’s glares and Gigandet’s grins keep the whole overly complex structure moving along. Tucci, as is now tradition, quietly steals every scene he’s in and injects some much-needed humour into the at times po-faced efforts at drama. It ain’t art, but the cast, with help from cinema’s cheesiest-ever seduction scene and some hella good dance numbers, just about ensure you won’t lose interest.


Verdict
Intentionally or not, it might be the comedy of the year. The music and dance are thrilling and the costumes saucy enough to satisfy, but the whole is so camp and clichéd that it must be deliberate. Right?


Reviewed by Helen O'Hara

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Burlesque
Empire Star Rating

RE: Burlesque

Burlesque (2010) WOW this was predictable fluff, if your thinking along the lines of 'Moulin Rouge' and 'Chicago' your not far wrong, basically with the same plot from 'Showgirls' and errr well its basically 'Showgirls' but Burlesque. Its not a bad film but its just very very average with very little on offer for catchy memorable tunes/songs, all the usual cliched characters and predictable events during the film and very little acting talent on show to boot. The appearance of the fil... More

Posted by Phubbs at 17:44, 16 June 2012 | Report This Post


Not so hot Burlesque

Okay, not great. Christina was miscast. Cher and Tucci are underused. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by lynnshep at 23:13, 23 February 2012 | Report This Post


Not so hot Burlesque

Okay, not great. Christina was miscast. Cher and Tucci are underused. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by lynnshep at 23:13, 23 February 2012 | Report This Post


SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Rogues Gallery: Powers Boothe
Sin City's Roark talks us through his most memorable baddies

Richard Attenborough: In Celebration
Saluting a man who made a lasting impact on cinema and beyond…

Exclusive: Luc Besson Talks Lucy
'There is no bullshit with Scarlett Johansson'

Video: Daniel Radcliffe Talks What If...
On Gordon Ramsay, swearing and date movies

The 24 Best Film-Related Ice Bucket Challenges
The viral craze that won’t quit takes in some of Hollywood’s finest

Who Shot First? The Complete List Of Star Wars Changes
An exhaustive chronology of George Lucas' post-release tinkering

Film Studies 101: A Film Buff's Guide To Movie Movements
Everything you need to know about cinema's key groups

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)