Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Movie Review: Step Up 3D

Before I begin, I would like to say that I am a bad, bad man. Really. I am a horrible, stinking rotter who probably deserves to be shot. Why? Because I haven't posted in almost a week. There is no excuse, and frankly I am appalled at myself! I fill me with so much inhuman rage that I have no resort but to hunt myself down, and I will not stop until I make me pay for what I have done. I will not show myself mercy, and will treat myself in the same way I would treat any of my nemeses.

And knowing me, I will likely end up facing myself in an epic lightsaber duel.

So anyways, now that I've gotten that mess out of the way, it's tome to get to the soft, gooey, and somewhat putrid marrow of this post - the movie review.

Man, the US sure does love dancing these days, doesn't it? It seems that recently the media has been pummeling us with a constant barrage of things that involve dancing. Dancing competitions, dancing pageants, dancing washed-up former celebrities, dancing penguins... and then some dancing for dancing's sake mixed in for "flavor." It seems impossible to avoid the dancing craze, as it seems to follow you everywhere you go. Seriously, within a year or two, they'll figure out how to put dancing on the Radio.

"We interrupt this program for some break dancing."

Now, I'm a theater person. I can appreciate good dance number, probably more than most men my age. However, even I get sick of the constant waves of So You Think You Can Step Up With The Stars. As I'm not much of a TV person (not for any shows currently on the air, anyways... well, other than Supernatural), I miss a lot (read: all) of the dancing television programs. Furthermore, the idea of going to see a movie where the plot amounts to "Look What I Can Do" is... less than a thrilling prospect.

So when I went out to see Step Up 3D this past weekend, I was expecting that the most entertaining part of the experience would be the traditional blue raspberry icee.

I was wrong.

The movie ruined the icee.

You know what I miss? I miss aspects of film that made the old movies great. Things like... coherent storytelling. Actual plot. Character development. Acting. Little things like that. Unfortunately, Step Up 3D has none of these things. Instead it has a bunch of people who I think are supposed to be attractive shaking their hands/legs/arms/head/butt at the screen for 95% of the film.
Dear Movie Industry: This is not a Plot.

What small thread of a story there is behind this festering pile of rancid avocados is so pathetically weak that an anemic would look strong and mighty in contrast. It revolves around several groups of kids who belong to a underworld culture that have fierce, almost hateful rivalries on the streets of downtown New York City. When things ever come to a head between these various groups, they corner one of their rivals in a bathroom and... dance at them.

Okay, admittedly I don't know a whole lot about street culture, but I'm pretty sure that this is not how differences are generally solved. From my understanding, it goes more like this:

Pictured: Authentic Street Violence.

So anyways, these "Dance Gangs" (I can't even TYPE that with a straight face) are all competing in a big dance competition, the award for which is $100,000. Because street dance gangs definitely make the sort of revenue to fund that sort of thing. The good guy dance gang, the Pirates, needs the money so that they can prevent their club from being bought by their evil rival gang, called the Samurai.

... Okay, obligatory Pirates Vs. Ninjas photo.

This picture has a much better plot than the movie. Also better acting.

The rest of the movie is just a series of scenes that graphically depict the horrors of gang dance warfare.

Man, THIS should be a movie. I'd WATCH this movie.

Now, I'll admit - some of the dances in this movie are actually really cool. There are three big dance scenes in particular that are a lot of fun to watch. They use creative methods to make each dance unique and interesting, and the visual effects used really do enhance the experience.

... Except for the 3D. This is the truly baffling thing about this movie - it is the most pointless waste of 3D technology that I have ever seen. It only really comes into play maybe twice in the entire film, and those instances were clearly forced into the dance routines just to occasionally remind people that the movie was using the newest movie fad. I'd be willing to hazard a guess that this movie would actually be better if it hadn't been in 3D; the ticket would have been cheaper, and the movie wouldn't have been rife with those awkwardly forced moments designed solely to show off a completely irrelevant aspect of the film.

Of course, the good guys win the dance gang war. And they do so through the careful use of lasers.

Okay, this is the last Gangster Kitten. Promise.

This movie is pain. Pain delivered directly into the forehead with an ice pick laced with acid and the tears of innocent children. It has cool dancing, but cool dancing does not a movie make. I'm pretty sure that's a Chinese proverb - after all, it is well known that Confucius was not much of a dancer. If you're willing to pay $11 to go watch people try to act (and fail spectacularly) their way through a movie that is little more than an excuse for extended dance gang wars - then by all means, go see Step up 3D. If you're not one of those people, then avoid this film like the plague.

Final Grade: D+


  1. Awwwww, it wasn't THAT bad. Exactly.

    Okay, who are we fooling, yes it was. Bad.

    But well intentioned.

    And I like dance...

  2. Sounds like a horrible movie.