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‘Worlds Away’ is a basic but appealing Cirque sampler

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Cirque gets James Cameron’s 3D treatment for Worlds Away.

The Details

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: WORLDS AWAY
Three stars
Erica Linz, Igor Zaripov.
Directed by Andrew Adamson.
Rated PG.
Opens Friday.
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Cirque du Soleil has recruited some pretty impressive Hollywood names for Worlds Away, its first foray into feature filmmaking: Executive producer James Cameron brings his technical innovation to the impressive 3D presentation, and writer-director Andrew Adamson has plenty of fantasy-film experience as the filmmaker behind the first two movies in both the Shrek and The Chronicles of Narnia series. Cameron’s contributions end up being a lot more important than Adamson’s, though, since Worlds Away succeeds as a 3D showcase for Cirque performances far more than it does as a narrative feature film.

The very loose story involves wide-eyed Mia (Erica Linz) stumbling into a fantastical carnival and finding herself instantly smitten with a mysterious aerialist (Igor Zaripov). She follows him into a dreamlike world that incorporates elements from seven Vegas-based Cirque shows (KÀ, Love, O, Mystere, Zumanity, Criss Angel Believe and Viva Elvis). Mia and her paramour disappear for long stretches of the movie, which is almost entirely dialogue-free, and their romance is about as substantial as the “plot” of one of Cirque’s stage shows. Both Linz and Zaripov are veteran Cirque performers, and they fit smoothly into the various pre-existing routines, but they don’t register much as characters.

Even for Vegas locals who’ve seen Cirque’s shows in person, Worlds Away offers an impressive perspective, with Adamson getting his camera into close proximity with the performers, going underwater in O or following acrobats high up above the moving stage in . For people who’ve never had the chance to experience Cirque live, Worlds Away is an appealing sampler of what the company is all about. Despite the rudimentary efforts from Adamson, Linz and Zaripov, however, it’s not much of a movie.

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