is a 1988 film starring Michael Jackson
, and both his only major film appearance after The Wiz
in 1978 and his only film as the star, not counting the posthumous documentary Michael Jackson's This Is It
. It's best described as a Music Video
anthology, with music mostly drawn from his 1987 album Bad
. The eight segments are:
- "Man in the Mirror" — Clips of Jackson performing this song on the Bad tour are combined with clips from the original video taking a look at world movers and shakers over the 20th century.
- "Retrospective" — A mixed-media montage of Jackson's career from his Jackson 5 days to what was then the present.
- "Badder" — The "Bad" video remade with an all-kiddie cast.
- "Speed Demon" — Michael is pursued around a movie studio by Claymation critters; he escapes by disguising himself as one (a rabbit).
- "Leave Me Alone" — A song about a romantic relationship ending is visually presented as Jackson's commentary on the media picking on him for his eccentricities (both real and rumored).
- "Smooth Criminal" — The centerpiece segment, taking up about half the film total, has Michael battling a drug-peddling supervillain (Joe Pesci) and his goons for the sake of his kid friends and children the world over. By the end, Michael has turned himself into a spaceship to achieve this goal. (Would it surprise you to learn that Michael himself came up with this storyline?) Note to fans of film music: the David Newman credited as the screenwriter is not the composer.
- "Come Together" — Really the closing scene of "Smooth Criminal", The Beatles are covered by Michael in a nightclub performance.
- "The Moon is Walking" — This Ladysmith Black Mambazo tune shot on one of the "Smooth Criminal" sets leads us into the end credits.
The movie has frequently surreal visuals — glittery special effects, split screens, colorful animation, etc. — and the stories in some of the individual segments (especially "Speed Demon" and "Smooth Criminal") more than live up to them. But for all its silliness, there's awesomeness to be found in it too. In addition, the film was made for theaters, though it went direct-to-video and cable in the U.S., and as such has high production values throughout.
For the Sega
game based on the movie, see Michael Jacksons Moonwalker
. Not to be confused with Moonraker
nor the one shot manga Moon Walker
This film contains examples of: