‘Work It’ just didn’t work

Netflix [Fair Use]

“Work It” was released on Aug. 7 and features celebrities like Sabrina Carpenter and Liza Koshy.

Kate McElhinney, News Editor

93 minutes—just a little over an hour and a half. That’s about how long it takes to play a soccer game or complete a small puzzle, but, more importantly, that’s how many minutes of my life I wasted watching “Work It.” 

Every aspect of a halfway decent movie was completely missing. The soundtrack, cinematography, costumes, script and acting were all bland and forced. The movie was dull and somewhat concerning in some scenes, and even its target audience seemed to fluctuate. “Work It” felt like it was written by millennials for Gen Z teens, but with 2016 humor.

The concept of the film, while somewhat basic, had a lot of potential. A senior in high school has a perfect resume, but her dream school tells her she needs a hobby to make her application stand out. The girl in question, Quinn Ackerman (Sabrina Carpenter), wasn’t sure how to tell her admissions counselor that she didn’t have any interesting hobbies. So, naturally, Quinn lied and claimed to be a member of her school’s award-winning dance team, the Thunderbirds. Instead of admitting her mistake, she thought it would be wise to start her own dance team and compete in the Work It dance competition against the Thunderbirds.

In order for Quinn to find a team, she had to round up a group of “misfits” who were rejected from the Thunderbirds, all but one of whom were minorities (nice one, Netflix). It was a sad and disappointing attempt to add diversity to the film. Quinn’s best friend, Jasmine (Liza Koshy), who basically acts as the token POC best friend, leaves the Thunderbirds to help Quinn win the competition. The group calls themselves the TBDs because their team name was “to be determined” when they entered the competition. Quinn, who has never danced before in her life, must enlist the help of renowned dancer and choreographer Jake Taylor (Jordan Fisher). 

As expected in every Netflix original movie, the protagonist becomes romantically involved with the male lead, which in this case would be Quinn and Jake. Generally, I wouldn’t have a problem with this; I watched a cringey romantic comedy, so I should expect cringey romantic comedy behavior. However, Fisher’s character is supposed to be in his early twenties, and Quinn is obviously still in high school. The age gap is incredibly concerning, particularly because she doesn’t even have her driver’s license, meaning she’s likely seventeen. I’m not a lawyer, but that sounds like a case to me. 

Overall, the movie was extremely disappointing. The plot was too predictable, and Netflix’s attempts to be “woke” just ended up making them look bad as a company. Many of the jokes were immature, yet the film featured a lot of twerking and suggestive innuendos, so I’m not quite sure what the target audience was for the film. Additionally, it seems like Netflix tried too hard to sign well-known celebrities to draw people in, instead of hiring talented actors and dancers who would have made the movie shine. While I greatly respect Netflix for creating some of my favorite TV shows, most of their original movies haven’t been enjoyable recently, and “Work It” is no different.