Entertaining but unmemorable jaunt through the "entertainment capital of the world"
As a young man and a fan, Bruce Forsyth saw Dean Martin live at the Sands Hotel before sauntering across the road to catch Frank Sinatra's second show at Cesar's Palace. Over the years Forsyth returned many times to savour the entertainment aspect of the city. Returning with his wife and a BBC film crew, Forsyth takes the time to look at modern entertainment world while also looking back to the days of the Rat Pack, Elvis and others.
Having been the subject of a quirkumentary himself, Bruce Forsyth takes a similar approach in this trip to Las Vegas, as the documentary is not really an exploration as a bit of light entertainment. Accordingly BBC put it out on late on a Sunday afternoon, which is maybe a bit of a disservice since it could just about have held an audience in a later slot if it hadn't been planned as a companion piece to Forsyth's fans watching Strictly Come Dancing. Anyway the film takes a relaxed approach to the journey and mostly it comes down to whether or not you like Bruce. We do get interesting contributions form different people about the Rat Pack and other though and some family members were real coups for the producers. The style of the film matches the feel of Vegas and I found it effortlessly entertaining, even if there wasn't always a lot of substance.
Forsyth is perhaps part of this because he presents this film as if he is performing at Vegas, but that the venue is the city itself rather than a specific hotel. When he is interviewing someone I found this to be good because it kept things lively but I must confess I'm not his biggest fan and that I found the moments where he pushes himself into the limelight to be slightly tiresome. Singing to other people in the shopping mall is one example and do his tap-dance routine to test the acoustics of a venue is another. The presence of his wife wasn't always totally clear either but the film used her well enough so that it never felt that Bruce was wrangling a free holiday out of the BBC, although some of us might bitterly think that he is rubbing his attractive wife in our faces given she is about thirty years his junior and looks even younger than that.
An enjoyable film then that works a bit like the entertainment at Vegas in how it is bright and energetic with more in the way of style than substance. Forsyth works it reasonably well although I did prefer it when he was working with people rather than trying to dominate the scene. Not a great film but worked well in the Sunday slot aimed at the undemanding and relaxed viewers of Strictly Come Dancing.
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