Review: The Last Dance

Gauthier Meley reviews the anticipated documentary series about Michael Jordan

Gauthier Meley
22nd April 2020
Credit: ESPN on Youtube
This is the most anticipated documentary for the world of basketball. A Netflix show about Michael Jordan, the greatest player of all time, with exclusive footage and interviews? The excitement goes through the roof.

The documentary was released earlier than expected and is directed by Jason Hehir, who also directed the 30 for 30 documentaries on ESPN. This obviously caused a lot of anticipation, and many basketball lovers had high expectations about this show. But is The Last Dance as good as the 98’ Bulls? Questionable for now.

Credit: IMDb

As a huge fan of basketball and especially of the NBA I already knew most of the information that was revealed in the first two episodes. Michael Jordan is the greatest player of all time so we have a lot of interviews, articles, videos, photoshoots etc of him explaining his mentality, his life, and what it was like playing for the Chicago Bulls in the 1980’s and 1990’s. In my opinion, The Last Dance is no different from any of that previous content. He changed the game, the way it’s played, the way we see the game today, he was just ahead of his time. None of that is new information.

When people mentioned ‘exclusive footage’ I wasn’t just expecting to see new videos of him playing or in the locker room talking to his teammates, I was expecting to learn and see new facets of Jordan, about the player but also about the man. I wanted to see the unseen. In this regard, the documentary was disappointing. If you are a fan a basketball and know just a little bit about the history of the sport and Michael Jordan, you won’t find out any new things on this TV show.

The story is well-told, every aspect is linked perfectly, and the selection of people interviewed is fantastic

Nonetheless, the show is still very enjoyable. Even if the documentary wasn’t what I wanted it to be, it is a very good one. People will have a really good time watching this, the two 50-minutes episodes feel like 30 minutes overall. The story is well-told, every aspect is linked perfectly, and the selection of people interviewed is fantastic. They reunited old players, teammates, coaches, owners, analysts from different cities and different newspapers, some of Jordan’s family members, as well as a very important resident of the city of Chicago (Barack Obama). This multitude of interviewees makes the show a very fast-paced one, there is always a new person speaking. By adding exclusive highlights and footage it makes the documentary very interesting to watch and highly entertaining.

Episodes 3 and 4 really take us inside the team. This documentary is about Michael Jordan of course, but also about the 1997-1998 season of the Chicago Bulls. What makes it really enjoyable is the format. The choice of going back and forth between the 1997-1998 season and the past in the late 80’s and early 90’s brings some life to the show. They could have shown us a gradual construction of the team, going through every step of the process year by year. Instead, they choose this very lively format and it is surely for the better.

There is a lot more to know about the man, the father, the husband

Moreover, further episodes talk a lot about the myth, the legend Dennis Rodman. He was a very special player and a very special person as well. Thanks to The Last Dance, we have the possibility to learn more about him and his life. Watching the part of the show about the Bulls’ best rebounder ever is going to take you through a mix of emotions.

Through watching this show, I came to the realisation that nothing new about the player can be discovered. People studied his style of play too much to find anything new. But there is a lot more to know about the man, the father, the husband. It is a really good start, and I truly hope there is even more coming.

Credit: ESPN, Youtube
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