Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, brief violence and innuendo.
Directed By: Anne Fletcher
Written By: Duane Adler and Melissa Rosenberg
Staring: Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan, Damaine Radcliffe, De’Shawn Washington, Mario, Drew Sidora, Rachel Grifitths, and Josh Henderson
I didn’t know you could dance without your tights! -Tyler Gage
This was every bit of the awful movie I assumed it would be and more. Step Up was a bad combination of Save The Last Dance, Center Stage, and Dirty Dancing, but with worse acting and a less focused plot. If the eye candy of Channing Tatum wasn’t available to stupefy myself with I’m certain I would have turned off the movie and fell into a mindless coma trying to recapture my kindergarten education. This being said I’m a huge fan of dance, but this film did nothing for dance other than trivialize it by somehow imagining itself an intense character drama.
The story goes like this: bad boy with heart of gold gets involved in hoodlum behavior and is with friends while they vandalize a well-to-do school of arts. His deep loyalty makes him “save” said friends by attacking a security guard. They flee while he is caught and is forced to suffer the punishment. Being an orphan in foster care and a product of the “system” he passively undergoes his punishment which involves doing janitorial work and making up for the destruction his friends created. He is immediately chastised by the dean of the school as she explains the low esteem she holds him in, so when he then falls for the “pretty” and “rich” “good girl” it’s SUCH A BIG SHOCKER.
The set up could not involve anything more contrived or affected and it’s unwittingly foreshadowed finale is clear. Everything about this movie is predictable, even the small tragic twist they throw in for some awful revelation at the end. Maybe it isn’t clear what is going to happen to the characters specifically but the sense of doom is put forth in a clumsy and lifeless way that has no place in the soulless movie. It is supposed to represent the pivotal point of the movie that enlightens everyone but in reality it seems forced and just out of place, but then so do all the relationships in the movie. Especially the chemistry between the actors, and any sense of originality or creativity.
Just when things couldn’t be more mundane you find yourself being fed a plot that centers itself all around a “lift”, not unlike some other film I mentioned earlier. The two polar opposite people are magnetically drawn to each other due to being attractive, and oh yes, their shared affection for dance. The love story was awful and the weird friendships developed created an uncomfortable sense of reality, exposing the fact that the film had no substance, which movies like this can pull of if they aren’t trying to deny what they are. This film too itself way too seriously.
I had essentially no expectations for Step Up, except for maybe some interesting dance moments, but those weren’t even substantial enough for me to care to watch this movie. To be better entertained, fans of dance should just go watch “So You Think You Can Dance” for a fix, andChanning Tatum stalkers need to find the brilliance of google, but don’t waste your time here. With the absence of any redeeming qualities it’s painful to watch another film about dance flounder and fail. Maybe one day an original thought and concept will happen and a movie about dance will have the excitement ofFlashdance or Dirty Dancing.