Thursday, August 26, 2010

Review - Step Up 3D

Moose is a freshman at NYU majoring in engineering that by chance runs into a close knit group of dancers that desperately want him to be apart of their crew. Known as the Pirates, the group convinces him to join and begin training for the biggest dance battle of the year. A battle that will give their crew the financial freedom to continue living in their dance studio.

Ever since I was a little kid I have been obsessed music and dance. In any form it comes in. Whether it be a musical or just a song playing on the radio. Music and dance are uplifting and motivating. They truly can, change a generation. While "Step Up 3D" is not as pivital as say Michael Jackson doing the moonwalk, it is a high energy thrill ride that will tickle your senses while getting your feet tapping. It is easily the best movie in the franchise, one that deserves to be seen in 3D and in a theater.

"Step Up 3D" is very much a feel good spectacle. It almost goes against everything I hate about 3D technology. It uses the medium as a gimmick. The good part is, the gimmick comes off polished and without a hitch. The 3D throughout the film is top notch. None of the imagery is distracting and the film really creates a wonderful space. Outside of me waxing on about the space the 3D creates, the dance sequences are outstanding. Each one out weighing the next, not to mention giving you something to marvel at. Their are numerous moments where I was seriously blown away and wanted to shout out sharing my enthusiasm. Luckily for the rest of theater, I contained my excitement.

At its core, the dance movie is meant to be inspirational. The film focuses on a group of dancers that have come together with one common bond, dance. In order for them to continue their dream, they must win the prize money from dance battle and save their dance space. I really loved the documentary angle director Jon Chu used to introduce the dancers to the audience. Fairly ingenious and those scenes come across as the most genuine. They really show off the film's heart.

One huge aspect that really helps "Step Up 3D" is that group of actor/dancers that are actually likable. The Pirates are a crew that you would want to know and hang out with. Each of the members comes across fabulously. I found myself falling for the various characters very quickly. These are characters that will only become more enjoyable with repeated viewings. Each one is full of life and also a couple exhilarating dance moves.

Unfortunately, screenwriters Amy Andelson and Emily Meyer couldn't just leave 'Step Up' only revolving around the crew. Instead they had throw in a romantic story arc. An arc that ends up feeling so cliche it almost pulls you out of the movie. I'm sure there are plenty who lapped up the romantic arc between Luke and Natalie, its just been done all too often and is one of the more predictable aspects in the film.

"Step Up 3D" does something that I haven't experienced in a dance film in a long while. Not since the 80's with films like Breakin' and Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo. It creates a mysticism that is indescribable. Something that makes you want to get up and dance. You want to share it with others. It is by every definition  sensational. It is a feel good movie and it does a damn good job at it. It is light and whimsical, yet resonates and sticks with you. For all of the gimmicks and aspects that could have very easily pulled me out of the experience, the movie defies every single one of them. It is escapism at its best, yet it is more, it is filled with heart and hope. "Step Up 3D" delivers a wonderful and memorable high energy experience, one that I am tickled to share with anyone and everyone.