This Is It, the documentary created from footage of Michael Jackson's last rehearsals for what supposed to be a final 50-show run in London this summer, is not a Thriller by any means. But if you're a fan, you'll still love it.
The film, which premiered last night, felt like a trip down memory lane, a riveting live concert, and a behind-the-scenes documentary all rolled into one.
Whatever his private struggles and addictions may have done to him, they aren't evident here as Michael Jackson is vivid, smooth and polished at 50.
When Sony paid $60 million for the rights to 100 hours of rehearsal footage to pare down to two, we still wondered if that could make a decent film.
When you're working with an unparalleled music icon, that's a plus. A quarter-century later, we see Michael singing "Bad," "Billie Jean," "Wanna Be Starting Something" and other hits, moving just as fluidly as in his heyday.
The music conjures back memories and breaks one's heart. The elaborate sets, 3-D graphics and dancers are also a sight to behold on the big screen.
It is perhaps the portrait of Michael Jackson himself that really makes This Is It worth seeing, however. A perfectionist with a sense of humor, deeply troubled but deeply caring, he was a man who his fans know was not easily put in a box.
The best, and most undeniable thing you can say about Jackson was that he was an artiste. This is obviously the best possible spin on his final days, but nevertheless an honest one. For two hours, it's all about Michael the musician.
No Dr. Conrad Murray, no paternity tests, no drugs, no legal problems.
It's a beautiful thing.
If nothing else, it's a great chance to pay tribute and gaze in amazement one last time at a singer, dancer, icon and entertainer who influenced so many.
This Is It is running only two weeks, though that may be extended depending on how it's received - in 99 countries as of today and 110 by this weekend.