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Overall Rating

Awesome: 15.15%
Worth A Look: 3.03%
Pretty Bad: 21.21%
Total Crap: 21.21%

4 reviews, 9 user ratings

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Step Up 3D
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by Erik Childress

"Full-Body Dry Heaving Set To Stupidity"
1 stars

When it comes to dancing, you can count me along with Jerry Seinfeld when he said "it's so stupid." You can also chalk it up to what Eddie Murphy once lamented about certain types of dancing - "I can't do it that's why I think it's stupid" - and like Austin Millbarge "we mock what we don't understand." There are all different kinds of dancing though from the ballroom style I am currently never watching on Dancing With The Stars to whatever the krunktastic styles the kids are inventing these days to prove that epilepsy can be a voluntary condition. One I must admit to having never seen though involves moves presented in 3-D. Real 3-D, not that warmed-over conversion crap some studios are trying to sell you on, and introduced into an actual dance movie franchise that started out as lame as any kid-from-the-streets-forced-to-learn-ballet film and sequelized itself literally "2 The Streets" to become this generation's Breakin'. Or at least Breakin' 2. Turbo and Ozone never got a part three and technically neither did most of the cast for Step Up's 1 & 2. You really can't say that the 3-D helps bring this series full circle. More like a straight line of cheesiness that features more covered crotch comin' at ya than a Jim Wynorski film.

In the second film, Channing Tatum (who moved on to more high-profile crap like G.I. Joe & Dear John) briefly appeared to mark the transition between the two films and to show us there was some fleeting connection between the stories and Disney wasn't just trying to exploit a brand name. To bridge the latest film, we do not get B.J. and the Bear's hot daughter again (who moved on to more low-profile crap like Sorority Row and the straight-to-video Donnie Darko sequel), we get her geeky friend, Moose (Adam G. Sevani) with the annoying handshake and dance moves that must make his Jewish folks' backs ache. He has actually enrolled in NYU to become an engineer with his best friend since childhood, Camille (Alyson Stoner). During a stroll in the park, he unwittingly challenges a dance crew led by a guy named, swear to God, Kid Darkness, pisses him off as well as a young Carl Fredricksen by releasing his balloons and is led to safety by documentary filmmaker, Luke (Rick Malambri), while Camille is presumably left alone to be the victim of several more servings.

Luke doesn't just shoot footage of street dancers though. He has his own moves and has even established some sort of indoor dance arcade where those with the shakes (of boogie, not heroin) have gathered like the Lost Boys to work out their true passion in life. When not Ashton Kutcher-ing all over the place, Luke has his designs set on the gorgeous Natalie (Sharni Vinson) whom we first meet dressed like one of the knife-throwing twins from Octopussy. She immediately accepts a bed in the dance hotel and agrees to train with Luke's subjects to win the ultimate dance-off. More than just pride is at stake against the trust-fund baby, Julien (Joe Slaughter as this film's combo of Paul Walker and Chuck Bass), and his House of Samurai. If Luke's Pirates fail to win the three-round World Jam they will lose their precious dance palace and be forced into a life of prostitution. Presumably.

Clearly you should be able to derive that there is no way to take this material seriously. With a plot taken straight out of half of the Brady Bunch episodes and "actors" straight from the B-roll of a Gap commercial all we can hope for is that the dancing is enough to hold our interest. Aside from all the quips you and your friends can share MST3K-style at its expense, of course. As racially diverse as the dance scene has been over the years, you have to hand it to the makers of the Step Up trilogy of finding a way to make it all about whitey. Sure the Pirates are the literal Lifesavers of the dance world, with one of each racial flavor for good measure, but from Channing Tatum's bad boy whitebread to bad girl Briana Evigan introducing her hip-hop moves into Maryland the problems of young good-looking white kids have never been displayed with such urgency.

Granted these kids are B-FAB, aka Born From A Boombox. Writers Amy Andelson & Emily Meyer never get around to answering the question on everyone's mind, "just where is a boombox's vagina?", nor any of the more simpler queries one might have while trying to root for these dopes. Five months behind on their rent, one might wonder how the Pirates were able to go about affording all their equipment and have enough left over to soundproof an entire room right out of a Chuck E. Cheese playland. We understand if you spin that record babe it's gonna be okay da-da-doo-doo-mmm, but maybe if Luke would just shut his playboy mouth and suggest they all get jobs, they wouldn't be in this pickle. Nor does Andelson and Meyer explain how two rivals who were once best friends wouldn't know a little more about their immediate family trees. Perhaps this is why it appears that a guy in the diner scene is actually a third screenwriter desperately trying to write a third act.

Oh yeah, there's dancing too. With a million lessons most people reading this review wouldn't be able to replicate the moves unless they were having a seizure in an earthquake. The problem with the dance sequences are not my ignorance towards the style nor director John M. Chu filming or editing them like a Michael Bay chase scene. He actually keeps the camera pretty trained on his dancers and even attempts to give us a single-shot, old-school dance-through-the-streets-with-my-girl moment, which is admirable in concept but fails in execution since Sevani and Stoner have all the grace of two people frenziedly trying not to miss their marks on Dance Dance Revolution. It is because we are given no context as to why one move is better than the other nor how the House of Samurai could possibly think they have won once the Pirates have performed the Philippine Prison interpretation of Tron. Chu does introduce dance's essential three elements of water, powder and slurpees into the mix, the latter to remind us the film is 3-D and that Luke never saw The Seven Year Itch or The Women In Red where the point is to get a woman on a blowing shaft that is not wearing jeans. Don't hold your breath that the big society dance crashed by Luke and opens to the gentle lyrics of "I bust the windows out your car" would end up recreating the ballroom scene from Top Secret. This is nothing approaching parody. How can it with speeches like, "Dance can change things. One move can bring people together. One move can make you believe like you're something more. One move can set a whole generation free?" Yeah, I'll believe that when they finally make a Bring It On film in 3-D.

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originally posted: 08/06/10 14:00:00
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User Comments

2/07/14 rlLHMfHJ LTTDNxPcXI 2 stars
6/12/12 laura cooke yea step up is really awsome!!!!! 5 stars
12/14/11 cr Better than part 2, moose is awesome , good story and kick butt dancing. 4 stars
3/21/11 Shantrice Jones omg this moveis so great i cant wait to step up 4 cum real t.. 5 stars
8/29/10 Kermit Crissey Not bad, Dancing scenes were very good 3 stars
8/16/10 Moose(I was in this so called Crap movie) Fuck you for dissing a god film, your a film critic you do know thats a pathetic job. 5 stars
8/13/10 araf its a good movie 5 stars
8/12/10 kaylon its class cool exciting unbelieveable 5 stars
8/08/10 Ronald Holst AURG HELP ME I AM SNEAKING IN CRAP 1 stars
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  06-Aug-2010 (PG-13)
  DVD: 21-Dec-2010


  DVD: 21-Dec-2010

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