The concert documentary has always been a somewhat niche subgenre, but leave it to the hottest star in the world right now — Taylor Swift — to revitalize the concert doc into one of the biggest cinematic events of the year. And while the unorthodox release strategy of Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour, partnering directly with the theaters and eschewing the studios entirely, is set to revolutionize the industry, the safeness of the concert doc makes it largely uninteresting, leaving Swift’s music and performance to do much of the legwork.

Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour is a recording of the final show of the eponymous tour in Los Angeles, CA, as Swift performs songs from her entire career, culminating in her latest album, Midnights. This is the type of movie that knows exactly who it’s for — fans of the musician. And ultimately, it won’t have taken much to please hardcore Swifties, and if that was the only goal, the film is a roaring success. However, the extraordinary performance that Swift put on deserved more than this largely artless approach from Sam Wrench.

There’s no denying the power of Swift’s music. After all, the movie has people singing along and dancing in the aisles of multiplexes, which doesn’t happen often. And one thing that does stand out about the Eras Tour concert doc is that it is refreshingly honest about the popstar’s sound. You hear every breath, and every missed note and imperfection (although there aren’t a ton of those). Even watching the film, you can tell how incredibly grand this show was.

taylor swift | the eras tour

Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour is a great show captured blandly

The show itself also flows incredibly well. Although the movie cuts a few of the songs from the live show for the sake of reducing the runtime (it’s already a staggering 2 hours and 48 minutes, although that time does go by relatively quickly), Swift is able to effectively tell a story, moving between the different eras of her career in a truly spectacular fashion.

Also Read: ‘Eras Tour’ Concert Film Box Office Collection: Taylor Swift Shatters Justin Bieber’s $99 Million Record That Was Unbeaten For Over a Decade ‘Eras Tour’ Concert Film Box Office Collection: Taylor Swift Shatters Justin Bieber’s $99 Million Record That Was Unbeaten For Over a Decade

Unfortunately, despite the show itself being extraordinary, the shooting style is not. It’s shot with relatively straightforward coverage — most of the camera movement being through cranes and drones — and editing that feels more like a music video or Super Bowl halftime performance than a cinematic concert doc.

taylor swift | the eras tour

There are two types of concert docs: ones that try to recreate the magic of being there, and ones that are marketing machines to sell albums and concert tickets — that make you wish you had spent more money to be there live. This is the latter, and it’s a far more cynical, crassly capitalistic type of film.

According to Swift and the team behind the Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour movie, part of the reason behind releasing the concert film is to make up for the fact that countless people were left unable to go see the tour live because of the Ticketmaster debacle. However, the shooting style feels strangely cynical — especially for a show that is a celebration of Swift’s independence as an artist. Repeated extreme long shots of the sold out crowd seem to remind the audience that “this is what you missed out on,” not that “this is one of the greatest performances ever,” which it very well may be.

Your main takeaway from watching Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour will be “that girl puts on one helluva show.” But Sam Wrench has not directed one helluva movie… he directed one helluva commercial. Again, this is not a review of Swift’s music, or even the concert itself; it’s a review of the concert film. And as a concert film, it’s disappointingly safe — especially considering the massively ambitious undertaking that was the Eras Tour.

Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour is now playing in theaters.