Benson Lee | 2008 | 101 min | US
There still exists substantial but largely unknown breakdancing scenes in cities and towns around the world. Planet B-Boy attempts to introduce some of these remarkable crews to a wider audience by following them to 2005's Battle of the Year, a global dance competition.
But this is not the breakdancing you remember from its last popular incarnation in the eighties. The dancers have long been refining their skills in relative obscurity and as audiences have slowly grown back they have also grown more demanding. The moves demonstrated in Planet B-Boy display a stunning level of athleticism and will literally have your mouth hanging open in awe at several points. The film is shot beautifully in locations around the world, including Las Vegas, suburban France, and the capital of South Korea. Benson Lee is clearly as much fan of the scene as he is a documentarian. He approaches the subject matter with a contagious level of glee that elevates the film beyond typical concert or subculture documentary fare and makes it a joy to watch.
The only fault in the film is in trying to insert touching storylines when following some of the characters. One South Korean dancer in particular is treated to a voice over or a clip regarding his relationship with his father nearly every time he is on screen. It is cloying and distracting and the movie isn't in need of the padding. That is a minor complaint in an otherwise terrific movie, however. Whether you are a long-time b-boy, a more traditional dance lover, or are merely curious about breakdancing, this is not a documentary to be missed.
Have a look at the trailer here.