Let's be honest: No review of a Jonas Brothers concert movie is going to matter much. The tween and teen girls who swoon at the altar of the JoBros will see it, regardless. It wouldn't matter if the flick featured 21-year-old Kevin, 19-year-old Joe and 16-year-old Nick Jonas squeezing zits and kicking puppy dogs into vats of sulfuric acid. It doesn't matter if prolonged exposure to the movie caused bubonic plague. The fan base faithful " and there are plenty of them " will flock to "Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience" despite what some old-fart reviewer has to say.
It is easy for those over a certain age " say, 20 " to scoff at the Disney-concocted JoBros phenomenon. The Jersey boys are the latest in a long (and occasionally ignominious) tradition of music heartthrobs neutered of the very danger and rebellion that seem so essential to rock 'n' roll in the first place.
WHOLESOME TEEN STARS
Still, there are far worse things than wholesome teen stars you can feel all right about your kids liking, and there are far worse things than the Jonas Brothers' brand of agreeable, if unremarkable, power pop.
"The 3D Concert Experience" spends a lot of time emphasizing how the Jonases are beloved by girls who scream, cry and hyperventilate. Thankfully, none of it is taken too seriously.
The picture kicks off with a tip of the hat to "A Hard Day's Night" (a reference that is undoubtedly lost on much of the audience), showing the boys crawling out of limos and rushing down Manhattan streets in an effort to keep from being mobbed by fans.
This is no rockumentary, however. Despite some interstitials that pretend to be behind-the-scenes glimpses, most of the film features the Jonas Brothers pop-rocking out amid a sea of glow sticks and outstretched arms. Capturing two shows in Anaheim, Calif., during the trio's 2008 "Burning Up" tour, the movie is a candy-coated extravaganza with the brothers performing such hits as "Hold On," "S.O.S." and "Tonight." Demi Lovato and country sensation Taylor Swift also pop up for duets with Joe Jonas, the trio's lead singer. Also worth noting is "Big Rob" Feggans, the group's offstage bodyguard who raps on the single "Burnin' Up."
"The 3D Concert Experience" is pure product. The performances are slick, if not especially interesting. The 3-D effects are impressive, but not particularly memorable. Director Bruce Hendricks doesn't worry much about showcasing the Jonases' distinct personalities. Nick is the gifted one who plays several instruments. Joe is the hunky one. Kevin has sideburns.
It's all pleasant and harmless enough, and the Jonas Brothers are several cuts above the usual boy band manufactured by creepy corporate types. But there is a nagging feeling in "The 3D Concert Experience" that what it's ultimately selling is simply the notion of phenomenon. Moviegoers are beaten down with repeated shots of screaming, manic fans. But what has earned their idolatry? If you don't know going in, chances are you'll be just as clueless as when you leave the theater.