Blake's challenge is to put together an all-star "dream team" made up of the best dancers from across the country and, partly by drawing on his experience as a basketball coach, mold them into a cohesive unit.
Aided by Franklyn (Josh Peck), a young employee of Dante's company who becomes his assistant, and by Stacey (Caity Lotz), a choreographer Franklyn introduces into the mix, Blake works to instill notions of unity and teamwork into his ego-driven charges. Typical of the uphill struggle he faces is the acrimonious romantic rivalry that has ex-partners Rooster (singer Chris Brown) and Do Knock (Jon Cruz) trading insults and giving each other the finger at every opportunity.
Unbeknownst to the youngsters, Blake is also battling the drinking problem he developed following the tragic death of his wife and teenage son.
As scripted by Brin Hill and Chris Parker, "Battle of the Year" preaches predictable Hollywood homilies about the need for self-confidence, cooperation and hard work.
Tolerance is also extolled through the story of Lil Adonis (Richard Maguire), an openly gay b-boy who initially finds himself shunned by one of his teammates. Since his only aim is to be treated with respect as an individual and a peer, however, viewers of faith will be as supportive of Lil Adonis' cause as anyone else in the audience.
The film contains a fleeting scatological image, mature references, including to homosexuality, a few uses of profanity, considerable crude and crass language and numerous obscene gestures. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III – adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 – parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.