K-pop group BTS, starring RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook, is the most successful boy band of all time, bringing $3.63 billion USD to the Korean economy each year. Their current world tour, Love Yourself, began in August 2018 at the gigantic, outdoor, 70,000-seater Seoul Olympic Stadium, and this film captures that historic concert.
The Bangtan Boys start straight away with their monster hit “IDOL”, to synchronized blasts of fire cannons and fireworks, as well as a huge group of masked backing dancers. This is a pretty good indication of what’s to come, with a high point coming in middle section’s medley of old hits, including a funkalicious remix of “Boyz With Fun”. BTS’ choreography is second to none in K-pop, and the live show is basically two and a half hours of non-stop high octane dancing.
There are also some slow numbers, with perhaps a little too much Jesus-like staring off into the middle distance. The film shows that it takes a while for the boys to warm up on stage; perhaps they’re a little overwhelmed by the crowd, perhaps they’ve been told to look very serious, or perhaps they’re saving their energy. But by the end, their inhibitions are gone, joking around with each other: a joy to behold.
Despite all the spectacle of the live show, the film’s edit mainly focuses on close-ups of the boys’ faces (exposing more than a few moments of obvious vocal miming). While worldwide fans will be no doubt delighted to feel closer to their idols, the result of the filming is surprisingly uncinematic. Fans may prefer to wait for the inevitable online release, in order to watch, watch, and rewatch, at home.
Watch Love Yourself In Seoul in immersive, three-walled Screen X.