J. Lo Produces Feel the Noise

The “noise” referred to in the title of this inane uplift tale for teens, which was co-produced by Jennifer Lopez, is the sexy, melodic sound of “reggaeton”—a fusion of reggae, hip-hop, electronica, and salsa born in Jamaica in the 1990s. Its rhythms soothe Rob (Omarion Grandberry), a troubled Harlem teen and would-be rapper who’s sent to Puerto Rico to live with the father (Giancarlo Esposito) he’s never met. Rob snubs Dad but hits it off with his step-brother Javi (Victor Rasuk), an amateur DJ with a killer track in need of a vocal. First-time screenwriter Albert Leon appears to have turned for music industry insight not to his famous producer (who has no excuses) but to other music-themed movies (Mariah Carey’s Glitter, perhaps?). That would explain an unbearably trite third act in which the brothers, as well as Rob’s sexy girlfriend (Zulay Henao), are whisked off to Manhattan by a record exec who smells a hit in the boy’s one-song demo. Making his English-language debut, Argentine director Alejandro Chomski can’t do a thing with the American sequences, but he does find momentary grace in the dance clubs of San Juan, where the young know to close their eyes and let the music speak for them.

 
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