FILM REVIEW: Glee: The 3D Concert Movie (PG)

Glee fans - aka Gleeks - can rejoice as their favourite characters from the award-winning TV series are brought in full 3D glory in Glee: The 3D Concert Movie.

The full cast - with the notable exceptions of Glee club leader Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) and acerbic cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) - take to the stage on the mammoth Glee Live! In Concert! tour, which started off in Las Vegas in May 2011 and included dates around North America and Europe.

While Mr Schue and Sue kicked off proceedings at the actual concerts, in the big-screen version, Gleeks get to introduce the film, as they reveal their favourite characters.

Backstage cameras then swoop to the cast members in their dressing rooms. Holding a mug of hot water, Rachel (Lea Michele) warms up by singing some notes, while Brittany (Heather Morris), Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Mercedes (Amber Riley) are getting primped and preened.

“Thank you all for loving me,” says a beaming Kurt, as Brittany sticks up two fingers behind him.

A nervous-looking Artie (Kevin McHale) exclaims: “I can’t believe that people like us so much that they want us in 3D. My face will be in 3D - and my pimples!”

He needn’t worry, because the entire duration of the movie is nothing short of entertaining, from the opening notes of the ensemble’s first song Don’t Stop Believin’ to the Warblers belting out their rendition of Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream.

Most cast members get their opportunity in the spotlight with Brittany living up to her namesake in I’m A Slave For You, Rachel gets to shine in Barbra Streisand’s Don’t Rain On My Parade and Artie performs his version of Michael Jackson’s P.Y.T. And there’s a special surprise when Gwyneth Paltrow appears as substitute teacher Holly Holliday to perform Cee Lo Green’s Forget You.

But Glee: The 3D Concert Movie isn’t just the musical extravaganza brought to the big screen. It’s also part-documentary as real-life stories of four die-hard Glee fans are interspersed into the songs, as we discover how the show has had a huge impact on their lives.

“I guess I’m a real Cheerio because I am a cheerleader and I hang out with the popular crowd at school,” admits Janae, who doesn’t let her dwarf status stop her from her cheerleading passion.

Trenton has been inspired by Kurt’s coming-out storyline while red-head Josey reveals why she is the “biggest Glee fan”, and four-year-old Kellan Sarmiento steals the show as a mini Warbler.

Fans expecting more from the behind-the-scenes footage may well be disappointed. These mainly include a couple of remarks to camera in character - there are no backstage rehearsals, warm-up dialogue or good luck rituals.

While the 3D does little to enhance the film, there’s no denying that Glee: The 3D Concert Movie is a feel-good cinematic offering which Gleeks will surely love.

By Shereen Low

Released: August 19 (UK & Ireland), 84 mins