The first film from OutKast iconoclasts André Benjamin (André 3000) and Antwan A. Patton (Big Boi) has all the wit and creativity of their music videos. And here's the bad news: That makes it at least an hour too long.
Between the gangsters and the showgirls, the gorgeous costumes and the wowser production numbers, Idlewild has just about everything a popular entertainment can offer. It also has a soul, and that comes free with the price of a ticket.
For all its shortcomings, Idlewild also has something that few films can pull off: Moments of such pure cinematic fabulousness, breathtaking dance sequences and idiosyncratic flourishes that we are more than willing to forgive it for all its sins.
Director Bryan Barber (known for his music videos) and his cast display so much gusto that it's hard to keep up your resistance -- I wound up finding this more enjoyable than the Oscar-bestrewn Chicago.
[Idlewild] achieves magic -- something sorely missing from so many movies these days -- and does so via a philosophy of respect, but not reverence, for what's come before it; it never recycles, it just reimagines.