This Latin version of DIRTY DANCING, featuring a former Miss U.S.A., represents soft porn at its worst. If this is career advancement, then beauty pageant winners don’t have much hope.
In a Brazilian rain forest, native tribesmen gyrate in a rhythmic dance called the Lambada, banned by the government 50 years earlier because of its sexual explicitness. Nisa, the tribal king’s daughter, drives the men into a frenzy with her erotic dancing when they give her an aphrodisiac to “loosen her up.”
The Lambada (which means “slap”, and that’s what the movie does to one’s sensibilities) is interrupted when officials from a U.S. corporation arrive and announce that the rain forest has been bought and will be stripped. Nisa and the witch doctor, however, board a plane for America to speak with the company CEO. While there, Nisa meets Jason, a spoiled rich kid who wants to do nothing with his life except dance.
Upon hearing her plight, Jason takes up Nisa’s cause, vowing to end the tyrannical reign of big business at the expense of the environment. They enter a dance contest in hopes of winning an appearance on national TV where they can champion their cause and expose environmental exploitation.
The film is really nothing more than sexual smut masquerading under the guise of environmental concern. The dance sequences are obscene undulations in which fornication is explicitly mimicked. Prostitution is also graphically presented when Nisa goes to work for the pimp owner of a seedy dance bar. In one scene, a female dancer is chained like an animal while two men act out sadistic sexual perversions on stage. Nudity and near nudity abound as women are continually exploited and degraded as nothing more than sex objects.
The witch doctor, too, is shown repeatedly using voodoo and casting spells to help Nisa and Jason out of trouble. Nisa and Jason also have a promiscuous bedroom scene, and Nisa is seen continually in a white see-through dress. With poor dialogue that contains much crude language and a shallow, boring plot, there is nothing positive about THE FORBIDDEN DANCE at all.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Peter Guber, Chairman Columbia Pictures, Columbia Plaza, Burbank, CA 91505., (818) 954-6000
Profanities and obscenities; violence; nudity, promiscuity and prostitution; sadistic sexual practices, lewdness and fondling; and, witchcraft.