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Overall Rating
3.06

Awesome41.67%
Worth A Look: 2.78%
Average: 9.72%
Pretty Bad: 11.11%
Total Crap: 34.72%

5 reviews, 42 user ratings


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Step Up
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by Doug Bentin

"Step over, if possible"
3 stars

The fact that Anne Fletcher has choreographed dozens of movies makes her a good choice to direct a picture like “Step Up,” which is about young people finding themselves through dance. The fact that the pictures she’s worked on include “Catwoman,” “Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star,” and “The Master of Disguise,” however, gives one pause. I guess there was no dancing in “Corky Romano.”

In this one, Channing Tatum (“She’s the Man”) stars as Tyler Gage, and let’s start piling on the clichés. He’s in a foster home with adults who are just doing it for the money—I’ve been a foster parent and trust me, there’s not that much money in it, but the movie cliché is everything. He’s got a younger foster sister who’s just there for . . . hey, why is she there? Her big scene, in which she gets to dance with Tyler, is pointless. He’s also got a little foster brother who is black and has even less reason to be in the film than little sister does.

His “boys” are brothers who hang with him while he shoots hoops, vandalizes private property and boosts cars to sell to their friendly neighborhood fence. Now you may assume that this miserable background is included just so Tyler will have something to overcome and feel bad about.

Overcome he will, but he never so much as expresses the slightest regret for having been a criminal. It’s the mindset of young felons that getting away with it equals innocence, and it would have been nice if Fletcher and screenwriters Duane Adler and Melissa Rosenberg had addressed this way of thinking. For them, the poor guy is just bored.

Tyler does get caught vandalizing the Maryland School of the Arts, a high school for kids who apparently want to turn everything into hip hop, and he’s sentenced to 200 hours community service at the school. He’s supposed to spend his time mopping, but it’s mostly moping until he sees sexy dance student Nora Clark (Jenna Dewan), who needs a rehearsal partner to help her iron out the kinks of her senior presentation. He volunteers and suddenly he goes from being school joke to school jock. Faster than you can say “quick cut” he has friends among the students and the air is full of love, love, love.

It’s not that “Step Up” is such a terrible picture. It’s just such a predictable one. As last spring’s “Annapolis” borrowed every plot device and character it could from the military-school-movie grammar book, this one does the same in its subject area. “Art School Confidential” made fun of movies like this. You should have seen it.

Maybe I’d be more receptive if the flick dealt with the kind of dance that took place in the legs and feet instead of above the waist. There’s a lot of arm-waving in this dance and more than half the shots of people moving are from the waist up. Sorry, but for me, you shoot dancing in full figure.

Young audiences will enjoy both the dance and the romance, and ignore the hero’s failure to face his existential dilemma. For them, “Step Up” will answer The Contours’ burning question, “Ah do you love me now that I can dance?”

It would be a failed exercise in existentialism if it had tried. As it is it, it’s just relatively boring for anyone over 16.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=14954&reviewer=405
originally posted: 08/19/06 04:49:13
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Trilogy Starters: For more in the Trilogy Starters series, click here.

User Comments

10/04/13 Trisha Wirt Freakin love this movie and Channing Tatum! Love his dancing! 5 stars
2/20/10 PAUL SHORTT PREDICTABLE TEEN MUSICAL 1 stars
4/11/09 Dane Youssef One of the worst in the dance movie genre. Tatum's the anchor around the albatross. 1 stars
11/22/08 Shaun Wallner Thought this was a good film. 5 stars
10/21/08 dfsaklbdfjks BEST FREAKIN MOVIE EVERRRRR! 5 stars
2/14/08 Kat This reviewer is an idiot. Awesome movie. 5 stars
2/01/08 ashina cool 5 stars
12/19/07 melanie best film ever 5 stars
11/19/07 The Russian Lunch Lady ZZZZZZZZZZZZ... huh, what? Sorry, I fell asleep. Lame movie. BAD! 1 stars
10/04/07 Abhishek Chakraborty This is a movie that only dumbass teenage chicks would like don't waste your time with this 1 stars
8/05/07 alex i loved the movie its mi fav so i hope u make another 5 stars
5/10/07 Mandee AWESOME i loved it 5 stars
4/26/07 Smith Jones III nice try 2 stars
4/03/07 Joyselyn Church It was the best movie i have seen in a very long time, I would watch it over and over!!! 5 stars
2/22/07 Beau Best dance movie in a decade, brilliant coreography and performances. cool music!!!!!!! 5 stars
2/07/07 JASMINE THIS MOVIE WAS PRETTY COOL. I REALLY LIKED IT. I RECOMMENDED TO ALL OF YOU! IT A COOL MOVIE 5 stars
2/04/07 cody a pretty good flick with cool music ,characters, and kick butt danicng . 3.5 stars not 4 3 stars
1/24/07 Kassie Allen I love this movie...Its A'mazing and the day it came out i bought it..i love it 5 stars
1/03/07 dancingrox You should have Anne Fletcher make a learn how to dance DVD i would totally buy it!You Rock 5 stars
12/24/06 Kronk Ok, if I see one more bad comment about this movie and I going to track that person down an 5 stars
12/24/06 Tessa To weird 1 stars
12/21/06 DiAnA I LOVE THIS MOIVE ITS GREAT AND FOR ALL YALL HATER'S KNOW YOU CANT DO IT LIKE THEM. 5 stars
11/23/06 Kayleigh This film is da best itz great!!!!! I wanna no how to dance like that now !!!!!!!! 5 stars
11/14/06 ANiTa I love your movie and it really inspired me a lot..I LOVE IT! ! ! ! 5 stars
11/08/06 Biggest step up fan! OMG best eva dance movie!! the danicng is soo amazing! n wota wiked film! Tyler is so hot!! 5 stars
10/23/06 Jorgi3 its the best movie eva i would love to learn the dance moves and channing is so hot !!!!! 5 stars
10/22/06 Emma best dance movie I have ever seen 5 stars
10/16/06 Monique AWESOME movie... I love it!!! 5 stars
10/03/06 llllove awesome dancing, channing is hott 4 stars
10/02/06 Ken Ji id say, worst movie ever, worst dancing i have ever seen. 1 stars
10/01/06 Stanka this movie is the best dance moive which I´ve ever seen 5 stars
9/22/06 katsat Loosen up. I'm not young, but I had a fun time with it. Loved the dancing. 4 stars
9/05/06 linda awesome 5 stars
9/03/06 Derrick This was the best movie ever made 5 stars
8/22/06 Shelley A Step Down for Step Up 2 stars
8/21/06 Riki Tatum is surprisingly charming in this well-rounded movie 5 stars
8/20/06 Megen this movie friken rocks!!!! 5 stars
8/19/06 susie heart it was an amazing movie 5 stars
8/17/06 Harold When people purchase a ticket, they should immediately be shot in the face. 1 stars
8/16/06 Eddy Ka-Beddy<33 me and my friend love the movie and we want to marry Channing<33 5 stars
8/16/06 melanie i love this movie id love to learn the dance moves 5 stars
8/14/06 Sharon BEST MOVIE EVER!!!!! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  11-Aug-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 19-Dec-2006

UK
  27-Oct-2006

Australia
  28-Sep-2006




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