By Roger Moore
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Cirque du Soleil movies are a lot like ballet films — long on beauty and artistry, short on story.
“Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away” is a 3-D catalog of the wonders of the Cirque company’s Las Vegas shows, from “Believe” and “Mystere” to “O” and “Viva Elvis.” It is a feast for the eyes, an appreciation of the accomplished art of the jugglers, tumblers, mimes, contortionists, acrobats and aerialists that have made Cirque a brand name for family-friendly wonders, even in Sin City.
Live, in person, these shows are physical and technical spectacles, the state-of-the-art in what is possible in live performance. On film? The spectacle is a little less spectacular, the sappy Enye-ish score monotonous and the “story” takes on importance that it cannot sustain.
Their movies are what the live shows never are — boring.
It’s all quite lovely, mesmerizing — and right on the edge of sleep-inducing.
Then, just as you’re about to doze off, the “Viva Elvis” and “The Beatles Love” segments turn up and give the show momentum, and a beat we can dance to.
Cheaper than a trip to Vegas, “Worlds Away” is, even in gorgeous 3-D, a wonderful reminder of the indispensable place Cirque du Soleil holds in popular entertainment. They’re fabulous, even on film. But there’s no substitute for live performance.