DIR: Scott Speer • WRI: Amanda Brody • PRO: Erik Feig, Jennifer Gibgot, Adam Shankman, Patrick Wachsberger . • DOP: Karsten Gopinath • ED: Matt Friedman, Avi Youabian • DES: Carlos Menéndez • CAST: Kathryn McCormick, Ryan Guzman, Cleopatra Coleman
Right at the opening credits of this movie, panic set in as a revelation washed over me; I hadn’t seen Step Up 3. My mind collapsed at the thought of not being able to keep up with the story that was about to take place. But thankfully, much like The Fast & The Furious series, the Step Up franchise is not really about breaking new ground, just re-treading old material with new cars/dance moves. Which is odd, considering the mantra of this entry is all about breaking the rules and trying new things, and the lead actress is berated by her dance instructor for having ‘no originality’. It’d almost be meta if it wasn’t so stupid.
Plot-wise, handsome guy from the poor side of the tracks falls for beautiful girl from the rich side, dancing ensues. That’s about it, with every dance movie trope present and correct; Dancing for a prize-money competition? Check. A big bad guy going to ruin their community by demolishing it to build a fancy hotel? Check. Use their dancing to try to save their community? Check. The only original thing about the movie are the dance scenes, and while they are impressive, they do get quite repetitive very quickly, and the only thing that makes the ultimate dance scene stand out is that it’s the only one to properly utilize the fact that the movie is in 3D.
Aside from that, the film flits from kinda boring to out-and-out jarring, and is filled with tiny moments and events that end up grating on your brain. During one dance scene, the broke street-dancers let loose thousands and thousands of dollars like confetti, because, ye know, it looks cool. ‘People like me are invisible in this city’, says the stupidly handsome lead guy, who wouldn’t know what it felt like to be invisible if it came up and smacked him in his stupidly toned abs.
But there is hope. Do you remember how bad Fast & Furious 4 was? And how much fun Fast & Furious 5 turned out be? Just sayin’!
Rated PG (see IFCO website for details)
Step Up 4: Miami Heat is released on 10th August 2012