Michael Jackson's This Is It Reviews
If This Is It doesn't miraculously restore the middle-aged Jackson to his past glory, it at least offers glimpses of his bygone greatness, and poignant suggestions of what might have been.
Must the show really go on? At best, This Is It is a mere sketch of what Jackson seemed capable of delivering in London, with the King of Pop only half-singing, half-dancing through his most rousing hits.
It's an expertly packaged -- brilliantly packaged, considering how quickly the job was done -- phantasmagoria that emphasizes, quite convincingly, the energy that Michael could still draw from whatever was fueling his wraith-thin body.
It's fascinating, often in ways the people behind it might not have intended. It's shiny and slick and scary and cynical, and it's an epic portrait of all the contradictions in American celebrity culture and one of American culture's biggest celebrities.
Naivete, calculation and all, it looks like it would've been a helluva show, complete with eco-consciousness-raising, an onstage bulldozer and 3-D Thriller footage, newly created to dazzle audiences left high and dry by fate and Jackson's demise.
This may be as close as we'll ever get to knowing the strange boy-man who was one of the greatest entertainers -- onstage, on record and on video -- of the 20th century. He comes across as ageless and timeless, just like the songs he sings.
Any evidence of eccentricity, scandal or anything else that marked our perception of Jackson the last few years is missing. In its place is a performer in full command of his gifts.
There's an incredible amount to enjoy here, and the star's fans will be in rapture. Though Jackson looks painfully thin at times, his vocal prowess and dancing ability seem to have scarcely ebbed at all in the decade he spent offstage.