Back in 1993 in Orlando, Florida a little-known band called the Backstreet Boys began their journey into the world of pop. 22 years later, Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of, directed by Stephen Kijak, depicts the band’s rise to superstardom and all the good and bad that they face along the way.
From the offset, it’s clear that the film is a truly honest version of events. It’s easy to assume that manufactured boybands have an easy time in the industry but this certainly shines a light on the less glamorous side of the job – relentless dance and vocal rehearsals, trips to rehab, illness worries and being taken advantage of by their crook manager. The members also take us on highly emotional trips back to their childhood homes, where they each open up about their sometimes troubled upbringings and reflect on how their lives could have been so different.
“From 1999 to 2002 we were the biggest band in the world. We sold 130 million albums worldwide.”
There are many chaotic clips shown from their heyday; shutting down Times Square, making the front of Rolling Stone, winning all of the awards and of course thousands of crying, screaming, fainting girls following their every move – a vision that seems quite overwhelming from the other side.
More recent footage of the boys (now men) rehearsing non-stop is scattered throughout the film, this time working towards their 20th Anniversary Tour and most recent album A World Like This. Their obvious determination and dedication to the band is constant throughout and is a real testament to how they have remained a unit for so long. Whether it’s shows from 2000 or clips from their recent tour, their dance moves and vocals are second to none. As a fan of pop music or not, this documentary is certainly an eye opener in terms of just how hard all five of them work and how even though the road hasn’t always been smooth, their bond is stronger now than it ever has been.
This film is a great trip down memory lane for any fan, with plenty of flashbacks to their biggest hits. It’s also an interesting look at a side of the music industry pop stars rarely open up about. The movie title is very appropriate as they certainly show us what they’re made of, giving us a new-found respect for the Backstreet Boys!
BACKSTREET BOYS: SHOW’EM WHAT YOU’RE MADE OF is in cinemas nationwide on 26 February followed by a special performance by the band broadcast live by satellite. Check out more details here – http://www.backstreetboys.com/international