"Leaving Neverland" Movie Review

"Leaving Neverland" Movie Review

4 out of 12

Michael Jackson is a worldwide phenomenon, but the high points of his life and career are unfortunately accompanied by disturbing allegations of child abuse. Leaving Neverland is a two part documentary that records the testimony of two of the alleged victims, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, and their families detailing their experience with Jackson and their lifelong struggle to deal with his actions.

Clocking in at four hours long, Leaving Neverland is a production that knows no restraint. On top of being lengthier than necessary, the film extracts relentlessly explicit details about the victims’ experiences, and delves into every nook and cranny of their lives.

But after decades of allegations against Jackson, what the film does not do is contribute new information to the conversation. By the end of the film, viewers take away very graphic and emotional accounts of what occurred without offering anything objectively substantial about the situation beyond what the media and many fans had already suspected.

Near the end, Leaving Neverland does allude to a #MeToo theme, but never commits to aligning James and Wade’s experiences with the current movement. The film seems too absorbed with its shock-value style of storytelling to bother wrapping up its four hour long narrative with a clear and concise point.

Skeptics might point to these stories as undeniable evidence of Jackson’s guilt. Diehard fans might run to Jackson’s defense. Personally, thinking about how much time I spent watching this documentary honestly makes me want to scream.

Acting and Casting - 1 | Visual Effects and Editing - 1 | Story and Message - 1 | Entertainment Value - 1 | Music Score and Soundtrack - 0 | Reviewer's Preference - 0 | What does this mean?

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