Step Up 3D – Inspiring and Awful

Step Up 3D was the most anticipated movie of the summer (for me). The third film in the Step Up franchise, this movie was the first one to be filmed entirely in 3D. I loved it, of course, because it was a dance movie. I have yet to see a dance movie that I haven’t liked, but there were elements of this movie that bothered me.

The previous two Step Up films revolved around the fictional Maryland School of the Arts. Step Up 3D followed Moose from the second movie as he starts his first year at NYU. He meets a guy named Luke who lives with his crew of dancers (even though he doesn’t dance for some reason) from all over the world. They’re preparing to compete in the World Jam against their rivals the Samurai. Luke meets a girl named Natalie and their love affair begins, even though she has a secret. Usually when I’m going to see a dance movie, I don’t expect it to have the most complex, well acted plot, but this movie very well had the weakest plot I’ve ever seen in a dance movie. There were many plot holes, unbelievable elements, boring characters and terrible acting. What bothered me the most was that the two main characters, Luke and Natalie, couldn’t even dance. The Natalie character obviously had some dance skill, but Luke had a dance double. Compare that to Jenna Dewan and Channing Tatum in the first film, and Robert Hoffman and Brianna Evigan who killed it in the second one. They were all professional dancers. They danced well in the movies, and they had chemistry with each other. The leads in this film did not. They could have found two actors who were professional dancers, or let Moose, or even Twitch lead the film. It would have been much more believable.

However, the most important part of this movie was the dancing and on that front, it delivered. Choreographed by the hottest choreographers in the game, Dave Scott, Jamal Sims, Hi Hat and Rich and Tone, it was explosive, in your face movement. The film emphasized how much dancing meant to the dancers in the movie and it showed. Twitch, who was highlighted a lot, was a revelation. I was so proud of him. I watched him in 2003 on the Wade Robson Project on MTV, then on to SYTYCD and come in second place. It was great to see him and other familiar faces from SYTYCD like Joshua, Legacy, Katee, Ashley and Cedric. It was great to see dancers from different parts of the world like Argentina and Uganda get their chance. Adam Sevani and Alyson Stoner are the future of dance. They were both so incredible. For a dance nerd like me, it was inspiring to watch. It was great that these dancers had this film to show the world their talents. Dance, especially urban dance, doesn’t get recognized like it should in mainstream society, and this movie was able to do that. It inspired me and probably will inspire millions of kids all over the world who dance in their basements.

A few other things that I loved and that annoyed me. I loved that it was set in New York City and that Moose went to NYU. My novel is set there, my characters go to NYU so to see the inside, and Washington Square Park, had me a little giddy. The music in the film was crazy. Every song was hot. I saw a lot of elements of You Got Served (the movie that started this whole dance movie craze up again in my opinion). Especially with going to the battles, battling with the audience around them, cheering for the crew you liked the best, fights within the crew. It was very similar at times. I found the 3D element to be a little distracting. When I watch dance movies I like to see the faces, look for dancers I recognize. Couldn’t really do that with 3D glasses on. At times it was super cool, but other times it felt like scenes were added because it was a 3D movie.

Overall, I liked it, but it was the weakest of the three films. I would recommend it for people who love dance and who aren’t looking for great acting or thought provoking story line. I’m a dance nerd. There were parts in the movie I wanted to scream and jump out of my seat and yell “WORK!” It was the kind of movie made for nerds like me. Check it out.


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Filed under Dance, Movies

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