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Step Up 3D (His Review)

Step Up 3D (His Review)

Pure pulp spectacle
Aug 5, 2010
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Step Up 3D
Genre: Drama, Music, Romance Release Date: 05/08/2010 Runtime: 107 minutes Country: USA


Director:  Jon M. Chu Writer(s): 
Amy Andelson

Emily Meyer

Duane Adler

Cast: Adam G. Sevani, Alyson Stoner, Keith Stallworth, Kendra Andrews, Rick Malambri, Sharni Vinson
Step Up 3D (His Review), reviewed by Anders Wotzke on 2010-08-05T22:11:21+00:00 rating 3.0 out of5

In Step Up 3D – the third entry into the successful dance franchise about street gangs who battle to the sound of a boom box rather than a gun shot — a young dancing hopeful nicknamed Moose (Adam G. Sevani)  shares this pearl of absolute wisdom: “People dance ‘cos dancing can change things.”

Remarkable screenwriting, that.  But if dancing does indeed “change things”, there’s not much evidence here.

Aside from the extra dimension, Step Up 3D doesn’t dare depart from the tired underdog formula, pitting rich kids against urban orphans in the most laughably clichéd narrative conceivable. It’s all here; the aspiring dancer who can’t decide where their loyalties lie, the big dance-off that happens to conflict with another important date and the dream-shattering obstacle that suggests all hope is lost until, of course, an inspiring last minute comeback. I daresay the film is almost as predictable as an Asian appearing on TV’s Border Security. It’s certainly as racially stereotyped.

But let’s not pretend the narrative matters in a movie like this. Step Up 3D concerns itself with one thing and one thing only: dancing, yawl.

Director Jon Chu (Step Up 2) is, to lesser acclaim, a modern day Busby Berkeley; he’s a choreographer, not a storyteller.  Little is done to mask the fact that the story exists only to link dance sequence ‘A’ with dance sequence ‘B’. It’s all about spectacle, and as long as the spectacle is spectacular, you can’t really complain. Even as someone who has never Stepped Up before, I couldn’t resist the energy of the impressive dance sequences, despite cringing my way through the rest of the film. The cast can’t act to save a life, but they sure know how to do the splits.

As for the 3D? Well, I’m torn. On one hand, the technology was made for films like this, as the added depth lends the film an immersive, and sometimes literal, punch.  But on the other hand, 3D films inherently suffer from a slower frame-rate. This detracts from the fluidity of rapid movements – the entire film, in other words – as it causes a noticeable  and potentially headache-inducing stuttering effect.

At the end of the day, though, it’s the 3D aspect alone that separates this film from any decent dance compilation uploaded on YouTube. The story is flooded with clichés, the dialogue reads like a string of drunk txt msgs and the characters are about as plausible as world peace…but hawt damn those dance sequences are cool.

So I guess you could say that the dancing does “change things” after all: from two stars, to three.

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