Netflix original Battle adds little to a tired genre

Netflix original Battle adds little to a tired genre

I’m a self-proclaimed film aficionado. That’s not meant to be pretentious or haughty by any means; it’s only to show that I have a deep love for movies, good movies at that.

I like to think that all movies are good, just by the nature of being a film. They share stories about the human experience; they provide insight into something, although some do it better than others. And yet, Netflix’s new original movie Battle may have proven my “all-movies-are-good” theory wrong.

What first attracted me to this movie was its alleged individuality. I’m referring to the fact that this is not an American film; it’s a Norwegian movie that Netflix purchased and dubbed over in English. I was looking for a movie different from what I would normally watch, but it felt like I was watching a film I’d already seen many times before.

The plot was relatively easy to digest. It follows an affluent girl named Amalie (Lise Teige) who, upon the foreclosure of her house, is forced to leave behind not only her home but also her lifestyle and, namely, her love of dance.

Amalie is quite passionate about dance and having to give up the intense training she was once privy to at her local studio is hard for her. It forces her to search for a new place to dance, which propels the movie towards a predictable plot line.

The predictable plot line is named Mikael (Fabian Svegaard Tapiaand), and he is a hip-hop dancer who Amalie stumbles upon at the local youth center. He introduces to her a new style of dance along with new people as well.

The plot of the movie is so bland and overused that it made the film, as a whole, hard to endure. Amalie’s struggle to balance her old life full of rich friends and her new world filled with hip-hop and new relationships is excruciatingly formulaic. It was like the plot of an American Girl Doll movie from my childhood only now in Norwegian and for teenagers.

The parts of the movie that I did find myself anticipating were the dance sequences. The main characters–as well as all the extras– were phenomenal dancers. These scenes were fun and entertaining for the viewer, but they were not enough to support the movie as a whole. These scenes did not propel the storyline forwards at all; if you want to watch people dance, you are better off turning to Youtube.

The dialogue was very mundane, and while it was not necessarily awkward or uncomfortable, it was just very vanilla. I was hoping for a thought-provoking Sunday night film, but I instead found myself with a movie that could honestly be described as a snooze fest. An added language barrier should never deter anyone from watching a movie, but unfortunately, in this case, its only purpose was to make my brain feel even more strained trying to read the subtitles and stomach the repetitive plot.

Battle was not a movie I would recommend. It’s predictable and not in the cheesy feel-good kind of way. The title is aptly given though because trying to enjoy it sometimes felt like an actual battle.