Video Review: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis & Idris Elba "Dance Off"

Against an olive-green background, Idris Elba moves his arms in front of him. Behind him, foxes are running from the shadows on the left and right.

Macklemore walks into a hotel lobby, wearing a tuxedo. The bell boys talk amongst themselves.

In a mahogany room, Elba stands by a coffin.

At an office, a man carries a slices of cake on a tray.

At a wedding reception, the maid of honor reads her speech. Macklemore dances in front of the mirror. Then, he dances on the empty floor. After the speeches, some guests perform a routine with him. An older lady does the splits. The bride and groom shuffle their feet. People clap as others break dance. Macklemore leaves and heads to the restaurant.

He walks in, sits at the counter, reading the menu. A few booths away, a father with a bun keeps putting his head back, rubbing his hair into the bald father’s head. The second father makes the crazy gesture with his finger. The second father’s kid stares at the dry fry. The first father does it again and the second father gets out of his seat, challenging him. Macklemore pours ketchup on his fries. The second father thinks the bald father is weird. The server smacks the coffee pot over the bald father’s head, knocking him unconscious. The server and the first father dance.

Next, Macklemore goes to the gym, carrying his jacket over his shoulder. He passes a naked man. He sits on the treadmill, watching people lift weights and pull ropes.  Two men hold weights over their shoulders, shaking them as they dance.

Back at the hotel, he takes the elevator and then sits cross-legged in the lobby as the staff dances. Two female servers sit against Macklemore, beating him with his arms as they sit on a chair in a conference room.

He walks to the mall, walking past a Mack’s (a stand-in for Macy’s). By the store, people flip signs advertising free massages. He sits in the massage chair. The staff perform karate and pretend to chop off their necks.

All the characters are seen again in their separate places, continuing to dance.

Elba dances against a sky blue screen, which then switches to a crimson red. Macklemore then joins him in a hallway, dancing.

Rating: 4/5

Macklemore visits various places, watching as people solve their conflicts with dance offs. Each place has it own sets of rules. The wedding stays traditional and keeps to the status quo. The maid of honor bawls during her speech while the guests sit, bored. People only join in to dance once the speeches are over.

However, at the restaurant, dancing is out of the ordinary. People shake their bodies and arms without much inventive movement. Whereas, the wedding was formal and somber, the people at the restaurant overcompensate, resorting to slapstick.

The gym and the mall, though, make the best use of props and the equipment. Men carry weights like batons, people leap over one another on the mat and stretch their arms with the bar bells. The mall employees turn the chairs into vaults.

Nonetheless, the comedy in both settings is dry and quick.The gym rats flex their muscles as they compete with one another and the mall employees use sarcastic gestures to express their desires as to what do with problem customers.

It’s Idris Elba who is out of place, cast as some mysterious figure who can summon foxes. With the fur coat, though, it’s as though it’s Stringer back from the dead, fully realizing his dreams of running the streets of Baltimore.

Directors: Ryan Lewis & Jason Koeing Year: 2016

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