By Jae-Ha Kim
October 11, 2006

With Tap, viewers are reminded of the late Gregory Hines’ formidable skills not only as a dancer, but as a dramatic actor. This 1989 film isn’t wholly original–the plot borrows from countless movies where the hero is a flawed man trying to do good. The audience is asked to believe he might revert to his ne’r do well ways, but we’re confident that the ending will reveal his true, heroic colors.

Hines (Will & Grace, White Nights, Running Scared) portrays Max, the son of a tap dancer, as a good-hearted man recently released from prison.

Once back home, he’s torn between returning to a life of crime for that promised big pay-off, or living up to his dance heritage. Rooting for the latter are Little Mo (a superb Sammy Davis Jr.) and his daughter Amy (Suzzanne Douglas), who want Max to help them take tap dancing back to its glory days.

Hines and Davis Jr. are so poetic when they dance that an entire movie showcasing just their tap skills would be worth watching. But the actors bring heart to this charming film, which understands that the line between right and wrong can sometimes be as simple as a tiny misstep.


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