When I first saw the trailer for In The Heights last year I watched 30 seconds and wasn’t interested. When I learned it was Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first major and critically-acclaimed Broadway play I was super excited to see this film adaptation of this movie. And so I did…and it did not make me happy.
As an avid musical fan, I know how great a musical can be. I’ve seen the likes of An American in Paris, The Sound of Music, and Singin’ In the Rain, and they were magnificent! But I also understand that musicals are some of the hardest films to make.
They’ve recently begun to surge back into the cinema with recent hits like The Greatest Showman and multi-Oscar winning La La Land and now this year we’re getting two musicals; In The Heights and West Side Story.
In The Heights, directed by John M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians), is basically a latino version of Do The Right Thing. The story takes place in Washington Heights at the height of summer and it follows a few characters who are simply trying to make their dreams come true. It sounds like a decent plot for an inspiring musical but it was overshadowed by a weak remake of a Broadway play.
Like Hamilton, there is a lot of singing! I mean, a lot. But while the singing helped move the story along for the critically-acclaimed Broadway play about our country’s fore fathers in a movie that much singing just feels like a bunch of nonsensical noise. I wanted to get invested in the characters but the first hour lost my interest completely.
To try to seem like an epic musical there were bunch of unnecessarily huge musical numbers with a bunch of dancers that just felt out of place. When a couple of characters in love are singing about how they want to be together you don’t want to see twenty people dancing happily around them. It’s distracting.
None of the songs were memorable, the lyrics were boring, and there was nothing truly rewarding about this movie. The only part that made me smile and want to dance was a sequence when the characters went to a club. Now that part was fun. Oh, and a little moment with Miranda playing the part of a beloved popsicle man and his brief moment to shine. But besides that, I was annoyed by something I couldn’t get a chance to enjoy.
I wish I could say In the Heights is the best movie of the year so far but unfortunately, I can’t.
Now I’m just hoping Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story is more enjoyable.
I’ll give this movie 70 out of 100 and 2 out of 5 stars.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a fantastic day.