Movie Review: “Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of”

Before One Direction, before The Jonas Brothers, and even before N’Sync there was The Backstreet Boys.  We all remember them because, whether you liked their music or not, you knew their songs.  The group had a debut international album, Backstreet Boys (1996).  In the following year they released their second international album Backstreet’s Back (1997), and their U.S. debut album which continued the group’s success worldwide.  They rose to superstardom with their third studio album Millennium (1999) and its follow-up album, Black & Blue (2000).

The legendary 90′s boy band finally gets a chance to tell their whole story, the good and the bad.  For BSB fanatics, most of what is revealed will come as no shock.  But, for those who aren’t Backstreet savvy, it may be surprising and intriguing to learn of their struggles with health, drugs, alcohol, and even a shocking betrayal.

The film follows the reunited boy band as they prepare for their 20th anniversary world tour in 2013.  Along the way, the boys take a stroll down memory lane back to where it all began.  Nearly half the film is told through older video footage from the 90′s, back when the boys were only performing in High School gyms.  Meanwhile in present day, Nick, Brian, AJ, Kevin, and Howie re-visit their hometowns, old rehearsal studios, and a few influential people from their lives.

Other film highlights to look forward to–The Backstreet Boys’ react when they first learn of N’Sync.  The members re-tell funny embarrassing stories.  Nick loses his cool and goes off on Brian in a raw, intense scene.  But what’s most enjoyable to see is how much these guys mean to each other.  Their bond is only solidified in the film when Kevin emotionally tells the group, “Not only are we group members and business partners, but we’re family.”

Director Stephen Kijak does such a fantastic job presenting the Backstreet Boys’ rise from a group of small town boys to the sensation of a decade, that it makes Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of worth a watch whether you’re a fan or not.

Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of  is playing in select theaters and is available on VOD.

Susan Kamyab

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