Posted on 8/07/10 07:40 AM
New York's intense street dancing underground comes alive in eye-popping Digital 3D in the third installment of the "Step Up" franchise as the raw, passion-fueled culture goes global. A tight-knit group of street dancers, including Luke and Natalie, team up with NYU freshman Moose, and find themselves pitted against the world's best breakdancers in a high-stakes showdown that will change their lives forever. (Touchstone Pictures)
Let's face it: By now, nobody goes to a STEP UP movie expecting plot and character development. If you do, I will personally go up to your front door and slap you in the face. The plot is so predictable that the only way you don't know what's coming is that this is the first film you've ever seen. However, that's not necessarily a bad thing. The sequels in this franchise never take itself too seriously. In fact, you can tell in this film that the clichéd plot was just an excuse to showcase some of the best dance sequences you will ever see in your life. The filmmakers know it's all BS. The audience knows it's all BS. You just go along with the ride.
The first film featured a highly idiotic soap opera that really didn't work for me. The sequel, however, was considerably more energetic and fun in almost every way. Jon Chu returns to the director's chair since STEP UP 2 and steps everything up (see what I did there?) on a whole new level. It has two things going for it: The crazy dance moves and 3D. And because of that, the film is totally worth watching in theaters. It's a visual feast and the songs are foot-popping fun!
Hey, you laugh now, thinking, "Does a movie like this really need to be in 3D?" Let's be honest here: Does ANY movie have to be in 3D? No, but studios make them in 3D anyway. STEP UP 3D utilizes the 3D technology in the best possible way since AVATAR. You read it right. The 3D was AH-MAZE-ING. From the opening studio logos to the end credits, your jaw will remain dropped. THIS is how you make a 3D movie. THIS is what 3D was made for. I can't believe it took a STEP UP movie to show studios out there how 3D should be utilize because this is why 3D was made in the first place. The true potential of this technology is used in the dance sequences. Wow oh wow. No mere words can describe the awesomeness of it all. More on that later. The technology is used in a gimmicky fun sense and to project a depth in many scenes. The 3D is so good that I already spent one huge paragraph writing about it.
The dance sequences are also insanely unreal. There comes a point where characters even defy gravity! How awesome is that?! And although new hip-hop moves are the main focus in the film, there are many other styles of dance that will appeal to every demographic, including a wonderful tango scene and a "Singin' in the Rain"-esque tribute, paying homage to the classic musicals in the past in all one shot, nonetheless.
The castmembers are efficient enough, although nothing to scream about. Rick Malambri and Sharni Vinson are sweet and believable in their roles. However, Adam G. Sevani and Alyson Stoner take the cake. Sevani returns from the second film and he's just a likable actor. It's hard to hate him. Stoner returns from the first film, in which she was a little kid! Sevani and Stoner have chemistry and their scenes in the film are just really sweet. However, my favorite characters in the film are the twins, Martín and Facundo Lombard. You'll see why once you see the film. There are also some surprise cameos here that I dare won't spoil because it would ruin the fun.
So overall, it all boils down to this: Are you the person who's willing to shell out $10+ to see this film in 3D just for the dance moves? If not, don't see the film. If you're a person who wants to see a plot and some great character development, don't see the film. However, if you just want to have a good time at the movies, STEP UP 3D delivers in every way. It's a highly energetic film that is so persistent in trying to "wow" the audience with fantastic dance moves. On top of that, it's one of the very few films out there that utilizes the 3D technology so well that it should be seen in 3D. STEP UP 3D is a cinematic experience.