The grand finale of Michael Jackson in “This is it”

Alana Proft

With 121 minutes overflowing with Michael Jackson’s awesomeness– from entrances in large robots to improvements on the iconic Moonwalk that helped Jackson garner fame as one of the best entertainers of all time– “This Is It” exceeds the expectations held of his concert series in London. The documentary, cobbled together from footage recorded during the practices at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, reveals the way Michael planned to redefine the word “performance.” 

The opening of the movie shows some of the dancers tearfully saying how much of an honor it was to work with him, and how he impacted their childhood and dreams, and I would highly recommend staying through the credits. The title track of the soundtrack plays through the credits, along with some additional footage shown on the sidebar and a little tribute to his children afterward.

From fantastic visual effects used as backgrounds in his shows to the reinvented music videos and outfits, we see that these shows would have had it all. “It’s a great adventure. We want to take them places that they’ve never been before. We want to show them talent like they’ve never seen before,” said Jackson to all of his collaborators during one of the segments.

Throughout the movie, we see that Michael wrote and produced a lot more of his music than we thought, and he knew it very well. The set list he planned takes the viewer from his innocent and playful songs when he was in the Jackson Five to hits from “Invincible” and everything in between. 

Some of the camera work was shaky and blurry, and it really took my attention away from the movie and put it on the people behind the camera. Also, some of the camera angles were awkward. When people are being overpaid for doing a simple task such as holding a camera straight, it’s not too much to ask for it to not move.

All of the material following “Earth Song” should have been inserted towards the beginning of the movie because the only thing Michael does afterward is discuss his hopes for the concert series and do a practice sequence of “Billie Jean” and “Beat It.”  Those songs are two of his best known and belong at the beginning anyway.

Onstage, after giving constructive criticism to his musicians or dancers, he would always follow it up with “it’s all about love,” or “that’s why we rehearse.” While rehearsing a number, he truly danced like no one else in existence, and the audience quickly becomes aware of the fact that he still had “it” at 50.

Overall, “This Is It” provides a satisfying ending to the life of the phenomenom that is Michael Jackson. It embodies him as a whole, from his prowess as an entertainer to his true demeanor as a person.