“The Last Dance”: review of the first 5 chapters

Here in LatinAmerican Post, we tell you all about this gem for basketball fans.

Still from the trailer for the documentary 'The Last Dance'.

We tell you what you should know about the new documentary by Michael Jordan. / Photo:

LatinAmerican Post | Juan Manuel Londoño

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Leer en español: The Last Dance: reseña de los 5 primeros capítulos

"The Last Dance," Netflix's new documentary about the last season of Jordan's legendary Bulls, is a must-see for basketball fans. Although it is true that it requires some familiarity with the sport and the legend of Michael, when the viewer has crossed this gap, "The Last Dance" becomes an intimate look at the history and functioning of a team like no other. Not for nothing surpassed in demand the very popular "Tiger King" from the same Netflix with only five episodes.

In-depth study of a team

"The Last Dance" is a spectacular documentary in terms of its technical prowess: the impeccable archival video, lengthy interviews covering personalities from Michael's personal trainer, to United States presidents like Obama and Clinton, and the investigative thoroughness of the information presented places him as a unique exponent of his genre.

However, it is in the narrative organization of the story that "The Last Dance" really shines. Each of the first four chapters serves in its first half, as a mini-study of each of the team's most important members, and in the second, as a demonstration of their influence on team formation and consolidation. Thus, the first chapter introduces Jordan, the second to his incomparable partner Scottie Pippen, the third to the wild but essential Dennis Rodman and the fourth to the legendary Coach Phil Jackson.

The story that brought them to the NBA and the skills that make them necessary for the team are told at an excellent pace in these first three chapters. However, this is where the problems begin.

Also read: 5 sports documentaries you can't miss

Approaching issues

Chapter five of "The Last Dance" has a noticeable quality reduction compared to the first four. Not in any technical aspect, but in the rhythm of history. We went from a narrative focused on each important member of the team to a chapter focused on several episodes with weak connections in Jordan's life. Only in this chapter are Jordan's hatred of Isiah Thomas spoken of, the origin of his iconic shoes, his participation in the Olympics, his rise as an idol of popular culture, and his lack of political commitment. It ends up being an extensive but superficial analysis of these facets of the athlete's life.

A documentary you can't miss

Despite the problems with chapter five, a review falls short to discuss all the virtues of "The Last Dance". It is a thorough documentary, which manages to create strong characters, such as the Bulls' great manager Jerry Krause, who serves as the antagonist and protagonist in the story, helping to form the team at the beginning and taking it apart during the last season.

NBA fans would be watching the playoffs for these times. However "The Last Dance" is a perfect replacement to feel all the glory and defeat that comes with being a basketball fan.


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