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Battlefield America

Yet another selfish and success-obsessed workaholic gets a shot at redemption by mentoring needy inner-city kids in "Battlefield America," a pic so thoroughly generic as to suggest a contraption assembled from spare parts with the aid of a how-to manual.

With:
With: Marques Houston, Mekia Cox, Lynn Whitfield, Tristen M. Carter, Chandler Kinney, Tracey Heggins.

Yet another selfish and success-obsessed workaholic gets a shot at redemption by mentoring needy inner-city kids in “Battlefield America,” a pic so thoroughly generic as to suggest a contraption assembled from spare parts with the aid of a how-to manual. This latest dance-a-thon dramedy from filmmaker Christopher B. Stokes (“You Got Served”) is littered with energetic yet repetitious production numbers so frantically and confusingly edited that it’s difficult to tell whether the participants actually can dance. Worse, there are some similarly edited conversational sequences that raise the question of whether the actors really can act. Homevid beckons.

R&B singer Marques Houston stars as a cocky Los Angeles marketing exec who’s busted for DUI and improbably assigned to perform community service as coach for young Long Beach kids prepping for a hip-hop dance competition. Initially surly and sassy, the kids warm to the exec, and he to them. And, of course, the lovely community-center supervisor (Mekia Cox) falls for the exec. Indeed, the only surprise in “Battlefield America” is the resolution to a subplot that appears cribbed from, of all things, “Dead Poets Society.” Things turn out happier here.

Popular on Variety

Battlefield America

Production: A Cinedigm Entertainment release of a Brian & Barett Pictures production. Produced by Sharif Ahmed, Marques Houston, Jerome Jones, J. Christopher Owen, Chris Stokes, Zeus Zamani. Executive producers, Jason Charles, Kevin Douglas, Leslie Ezidore, Marsha Powell, Geno Taylor. Directed by Christopher B. Stokes. Screenplay, Marques Houston, Stokes.

Crew: Camera (Deluxe color), Miko Dannels; editors, Sherril Schlesinger, Harvey White; music, Michael J. Leslie; production designer, Tema L. Staig; costume designer, Marlena Campbell. Reviewed at AMC Studio 30, Houston, June 5, 2012. MPAA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 105 MIN.

With: With: Marques Houston, Mekia Cox, Lynn Whitfield, Tristen M. Carter, Chandler Kinney, Tracey Heggins.

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