Article courtesy The Guardian written By: Jordan Hoffman
Photo credit: Maarten de Boer/Getty Images: "Rambunctious ... Nick Cannon, Kreesha Turner, Kimberly Patterson and Louis Gossett"
There’s plenty of flexing, flouncing and thrusting in Nick Cannon’s lighthearted tale of a New Yorker discovering Jamaica’s love for dance.
John Ford shot Monument Valley, Wes Anderson shoots highly stylized interiors and, if Nick Cannon continues to make films like King of the Dancehall, historians will note him for his worshipful appreciation of the female posterior. Shaking, gyrating, flexing and flouncing fundaments are front and centre of Cannon’s giddy Saturday Night Fever-goes-to-Kingston tale. Blessedly, they are in all shapes and sizes, and part of a Jamaican culture that revels in its people proudly displaying whatever junk is packed in their trunk. If you come from a sex-positive background, you’ll find this all to be a hell of a thing.
Cannon, who also wrote and stars in King of the Dancehall, narrates from the point of view of a Yankee foreigner, so his commentary (“all that ass should come with a seat belt!”) is a little coarse compared with the local attitude, but it’s all part of the cultural exchange. And adapting to a new culture is, to a degree, what this lighthearted and agreeable story is all about. Cannon’s Tarzan is a New Yorker just finishing a five year prison sentence. His ill mother (Whoopi Goldberg) has bills up to the wazoo, so Tarzan heads down to his cousin Toaster in Kingston (an almost unrecognisable Busta Rhymes) to work out a low-level drug running scheme.
But this is not a Scarface-like saga. Tarzan just wants enough money to make things right (Mum needs surgery, if you can believe it) but what he really needs is the love of his neighbour Maya (remarkable newcomer Kimberly Patterson). Maya is a Bishop’s daughter and steadfastly chaste, but that doesn’t mean she won’t get rambunctious at the dancehall. The way to her heart is to learn the moves, so Tarzan joins up with a crew of ridiculously buff guys, takes off his shirt and starts getting in rhythm.Continue reading