Being a Gleek is exhausting. Glee's most loyal fans already watch the hit Fox series each week, download the show's songs on iTunes, and turn out in droves for its sold-out arena tour. Now they'll have to squeeze in Glee: The 3D Concert, which hits theaters this weekend. Is the movie — a filmed version of one of the cast's popular live shows, peppered with backstage interview footage — a "Teenage Dream" for Glee's large following? Or is it a cheap, "opportunist" ploy to milk tweens' allowances, deserving of the show's trademark slushie to the face? (Watch a trailer for the movie.)
It's an "insult" to fans: For all the "uplifting, inclusive good" the series promotes, says Jen Yamato at Movieline, Glee has become a brand that's "become high on its own self-projected, self-congratulatory fantasy." Sacrificing any sort of narrative thread in favor of scattered interviews with fans, the movie is little more than "an ode to the cult of Glee." I came away with a "nagging feeling" that the film is "just a cash-grab thrown together at the last minute" to drum up a few bucks. As for the ticket-price-hiking 3D effects? As Sue Sylvester would say, horror.
"Opportunist Glee: The 3D movie deserves a slushie to the face"
Actually, Gleeks will love it: "This film perfectly — and I have to say entertainingly — captures America's moment of Glee," says Roger Moore at The Chicago Tribune. From star Lea Michele's "Broadway-polished stage presence" to the Britney Spears-channeling dancing of Heather Morris (who plays ditzy cheerleader Brittany), the Glee concert movie is "all good, campy 3D fun." When future generations wonder what all the Glee-related fuss was about, this film "will go a very long way in explaining it."
"Glee: The 3D concert movie satisfying for the show's avid fans"
If this is money-grubbing, bring it on!: For those who religiously consume all things Glee, this concert movie is the next logical — and satisfying — step in Gleek superfandom, says David Hiltbrand at The Philadelphia Inquirer. The talented cast sings its way through a predictably staged, though "vibrant and eclectic" playlist — with help from "a pair of booster rockets" in the form of guests Darren Criss (Blaine) and a certain Oscar-winning Glee guest star. Sure, the film is "a deceptively slick package" and a "diabolically clever way to pick your pocket once again." But would fans expect, or want, anything less?
"As buoyant and bug-eyed as all things Glee"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
- The dangers of our passionless American life
- The amazing resurrection of Mitt Romney
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- The essential techniques that every home cook should know
- Even critics of the euro didn't see this coming
- 4 strategies for organizing your money, based on your personality
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- The real reason conservatives should be outraged that police killed a white youth
Subscribe to the Week