Step Up 3D
Calling Step Up 2 a sequel to the original film was a bit of a
stretch. Other than the taking place in the same setting (The Maryland
School of the Arts in Baltimore) and a brief cameo appearance by one of the
characters, all the two films had in common were a title and a variation on
the same premise.
Step Up 3D is
divorcing itself even further from the original film. The action has moved
three hours north on I-95 from Baltimore to Manhattan. It has graduated
from high school to go to college at NYU. As far as I can remember, there
is not a single character from the first two films that appears in the new
Still it has the same premise – or at least partially the same
premise – as the first two films: young kids involved in huge group
dance-offs for pride, love and money. Of course it has mostly lost the rich
vs. poor class warfare which were so vital to the first two. It also mostly
disregards the classical dancing world which was explored in the first two
films (there was only one brief group tango at a party) and instead swings
to a hip hop beat.
storyline is a little simplistic, the dancing is surprisingly awkward at
times (the first official dance “battle” in particular was rather painful to
watch with its jerky, non-rhythmic moves) and the acting can be rather
broad. Also, because this film was made in 3D you have the requisite shots
where people are throwing things or jumping specifically so they can fly out
towards the audience. (This is particularly distracting when you see the
film in 2D – as I did.)
Step Up 3D from the above, but the
funny thing is I actually don’t. It’s far from a great movie, but Step
Up 3D has enough spunky charm that it is hard to completely write off. I
suppose it sounds like I hate
just a cheesy dance movie (as were the first two Step Up films), but
it has enough heart and energy and funkiness and gorgeous kids to kind of
Step Up 3D
will never win any Oscars (even in choreography, which is supposed to be the
film’s strong suit), but it never intended to. It’s a teen-dance-love
story, so as long as you know what you are getting into – and most of the
teen dance genre staples are in place here – you will probably mostly enjoy
Beyond all the highly over-choreographed dance offs (where do these street
kids get the money for all these serious production values?), this is really
the tale of two couples.
Moose (Adam G. Sevani) is a goofy-looking-but-talented hip hop dancer whose
parents want him to be serious about college and learn to be an engineer.
His best platonic friend is the cute-but-shy Camille (Disney Channel regular
Alyson Stoner) who obviously has a serious crush on the kid, if he’d just
notice it and stop thinking of her like a sister.
other couple is the more photogenic pair. Luke (Rick Malambri) is a hunky
aspiring filmmaker who runs a colony for dancers which was started by his
late parents. He discovers (and eventually falls for) Natalie (Sharni
Vinson), a gorgeous-but-mysterious dancer who is suddenly showing up in the
clubs. Is it real love or does she have some sort of hidden agenda?
all meet, flirt, fight, dance, double-cross, kiss, battle, confide, cry,
make love (discretely off camera) and do the Robot way more often than you
would think possible.
Cheesy? Yes. Sappy? Sure. Ridiculous? Probably. Kind of fun, anyway?
Step Up 3D is
reaching out for a very specific audience (mostly young teen girls) – and in
the case of delivering the goods to its target crowd, it really does have
all the right moves. Even when those moves are a new millennium variation
of the Robot.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2010 PopEntertainment.com.
All rights reserved. Posted: December 10, 2010.