Moose (Adam G. Sevani) arrives freshly in New York, gets immediately thrown into a dance battle, which he rules, gets into trouble and is found by Luke (Rick Malambri), who has a kind of shelter for stray dancers, the Pirates. Because of his pwnage, Moose is quickly accepted into the group and, together with new arrival Nataly (Sharni Vinson), is supposed to provide the fresh blood needed to win the World Jam Dance Competition against their nemesis, the Samurai.
Step Up 3D has several problems (not including the stale plot and the general dance movie clichés [because what would a dance movie be without them?]), but most of them shall be forgiven for the mostly awesome choreographies.
Look, we don’t need to talk about the fact that the plot was exactly the same as in pretty much all the dance movies. Or that the acting was sub-par. What we need to talk about is the fact that you call your dance group “The Pirates” and then you go ahead and don’t call the rivalling group “The Ninjas” but “The Samurais”? That… That’s just astonishing, really. I spent half of the movie wondering about that.
Apart from that, I also found the 3D jarring. It was, unnecessary, didn’t look good, and the way it was gimmicked (especially the magic slushy scene* and the stretching-the-hands-into-the-camera moments) was completely annoying. It was the first 3D movie I’ve seen where I’ve seriously considered taking off my glasses and watching the blurry version instead.
*I wish I was kidding.
And the movie strayed into the ridiculous a little too much: the swing dancing scene was cute, but a little WTF-ish; the tango was wonderful to look at but it did make me wonder how Luke would know how to tango [which is a freakishly hard dance for a dance that’s basically slow, theatrical walking]; but most of all the “we need the 100.000 dollar prize money to save our home which is being foreclosed on us” but still owning like a million pairs of shoes and 3 billion boomboxes and having money for matching costumes… Dudes, use the power of e-bay for good! You could at least think about selling some of that stuff.
But most of the choreographies were really nice – the one in the water and the one with the dust especially – and pretty cool to look at. Unfortunately, the final dance was one of the weaker ones and therefore the whole thing was a little anticlimactic.
Summarising: Dance movie-aficionados will probably like it, all other people can savely stay away.
On a minor sidenote: In the movie Nataly says to Luke: “We could go anywhere! California even!” And I just wanted to laugh my ass off. I mean, seriously? You live in New York and when you think about going anywhere, California is what pops into your head first? I mean, I would probably go for a world trip, but she could have at least said Paris, France or something…