And through sheer exuberance, it almost gets away with it. It's not good, but it's a lot of fun.
Luke (Malambri) runs a nightclub and dance studio out of the Brooklyn warehouse he inherited from his parents. Despite the fact that the club is packed to the rafters every night, he's behind on his mortgage and really needs to win the upcoming World Jam to save his crew's home. So he challenges his team, the Pirates, to go for it against their arch-rival competitors. New members include Natalie (Vinson), who sparks a romance with Luke, and Moose (Sevani), who neglects his university studies and his pining best pal Camille (Stoner) to dance in secret.
The only connections to the first film are Stoner (from Step Up) and Sevani (from Step Up 2 the Streets), plus a couple of surprise appearances. Otherwise, the filmmakers jettison the clash-of-the-dance-genres premise for a more straightforward sports-movie structure with a win-or-die competition, two formulaic rom-com subplots and a rather pointlessly evil villain in rival team leader Julien (Slaughter), who has a nefarious connection to one of Luke's dancers.
But the filmmakers also realise that the whole point of the exercise is the dancing, and they stage outrageously elaborate dance-offs and montage sequences that are choreographed for maximum 3D gimmickry using water, lights and anything else they can find. Including Slushees blowing in a gust of wind from a Subway vent. This is all done with smiley brio and hectic energy, and the dance sequences are truly exhilarating.
They're so good, in fact, that we can overlook the clunky dialog, which the actors struggle to deliver with any believability. But if their performances are often almost comically stiff, their dance moves are thoroughly entertaining. It's impossible to watch this film without enjoying every ridiculous moment, even if much of the enjoyment is in laughing at the corny script. "We can go anywhere," emotes Natalie, urging Luke to run off with her, "even California!" Oh come on, who would want to go there?
Run time: 107 mins
In Theaters: Friday 6th August 2010
Box Office USA: $42.4M
Distributed by: Touchstone Pictures
Production compaines: Summit Entertainment
Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 46%
Fresh: 54 Rotten: 63
IMDB: 6.2 / 10
Director: Jon Chu
Screenwriter: Amy Andelson, Emily Meyer
Starring: Rick Malambri as Luke, Adam G. Sevani as Moose, Joe Slaughter as Julien, Sharni Vinson as Natalie, Alyson Stoner as Camille, Keith Stallworth as Jacob, Kendra Andrews as Anala, Stephen Boss as Jason, Martín Lombard as The Santiago Twins, Facundo Lombard as The Santiago Twins, Oren Michaeli as Carlos, Daniel 'Cloud' Campos as Kid Darkness, Aja George as The Ticks, Straphanio 'Shonnie' Solomon as The Ticks, Terence Dickson as The Ticks, Chadd Smith as Vladd, Britney 'B' Thomas as B., Terrance Harrison as Radius, Jonathan 'Legacy' Perez as Legz, Jaime Burgos III as Mohawk, Ivan 'Flipz' Velez as Spinz, Ashlee Nino as Stix, Tamara Levinson as Bend, Ricardo 'Boogie Frantick' Rodriguez Jr. as Wave, Mari Koda as Jenny Kido, Harry Shum, Jr. as Cable, Christopher Scott as Hair, Luis Rosado as Monster, LaJon Dantzler as Smiles, Janelle Cambridge as Fly, Anjelo 'Lil Demon' Baligad as Arcade Rats, Jalen Testerman as Arcade Rats, Jose 'Boy Boi' Tena as Arcade Rats, Simrin C. Player as Arcade Rats, Joshua Allen as House of Samurai, Jeffrey 'Machine' McCann as House of Samurai, Casper Smart as House of Samurai, Joshua Lee Ayers as House of Samurai, Philip Albuquerque as House of Samurai, Richard Steelo Vasquez as House of Samurai, John 'J-Rock' Nelson as House of Samurai, Aaron 'Deuce' Cooke as House of Samurai, Moises Rivas as House of Samurai, Zahra 'Jeskilz' Hamani as The House of Samurais, Ivan Koumaev as House of Samurai, Sharya Howell as House of Samurai, Carly Lang as House of Samurai, Nick Wilson as House of Samurai, Nick DeMoura as House of Samurai, Bailey Hanks as NYU Tour Guide, Robin Lord Taylor as Punk Kid, Alex Zelenty as Emo Skater, Jimmy Smagula as Balloon Vendor, Christopher Place as Police Officer, Mark Blum as NYU Professor, Alex Charak as Silence D. Class, Carolina Ravassa as Kristin, Ally Maki as Jenny, Jamal Sims as Red Hook Announcer, Kevin Chew as Gwai Announcer, Ken Marks as Walter, Mark Tallman as Door Person, Jennifer Van Dyck as Natalie's Mom, Kylie Goldstein as Ice Cream Girl, David Brown as Ice Cream Man
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