EVERY ONCE in a while, a 3-D movie includes a sequence that completely validates the technology, and there is one such moment in "Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away."
It involves a beautiful and extremely flexible brunette, diving from the rim of a gigantic cocktail glass, arching as she hits the water to avoid the bottom, then revolving beneath the surface so that we may examine her artistry from every possible angle.
To which one can only add: Make mine a double.
"Worlds Away" is the latest visual wonderment from the 3-D Fusion camera systems of James Cameron, by way of "Shrek" director Andrew Adamson and the dozens of dancing daredevils who comprise Cirque du Soleil.
The movie is essentially cobbled together from the troupe's more famous routines, framed very loosely around the story of a young woman (Erica Linz) who wanders into a country circus, becomes entranced by a high-wire artist (Igor Zaripov) and follows him into a subterranean world, where, led by what appears to be an electrocuted clown, she is treated to a series of surreal spectacles featuring, contortionists, acrobats, synchronized swimmers, etc.
It's essentially a Cirque du Soleil "best of" set, through which the girl and the "aerialist" seek other. The real purpose is to allow Adamson, using some imaginative camera placements and Cameron's latest 3-D gadgetry, to show the performers to the best possible cinematic advantage.
If I had to quibble, I'd say that Adamson might have done more to sharpen and define the arc of the movie with a unified and dedicated musical score - there is uninspired music in the movie's first half, before we suddenly are deluged with Beatles and Elvis tunes.
It all leads to the inevitable moment when the girl unites with the guy on the trapeze, who picks her up as they shoot skyward, and I suppose love is lifting them up where they belong.
It's very nice.
Now, can we go back to the bar?