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Step Up (3D)

6/10

Stars: Rick Malambri, Adam G. Sevani, Sharni Vinson, Alyson Stoner, Keith Stallworth, Kendra Andrews, Stephen "tWitch" Boss, Martin Lombard, Facundo Lombard, Oren "Flearock" Michaeli, Joe Slaughter




Director: Jon M. Chu

If you enjoyed the two previous pictures in the series, this doesn’t disappoint. As always it’s the dancing that counts and here it counts for a great deal, amply decorated with highly effective 3-D cinematography that does more than simply push dancers into your face, adding visual impact to Nadine “Hi-Hat” Ruffin’s vivid choreography.

The street dancers on display are streets ahead of their nearest rivals, cheating gravity with aerial moves that would make a humming bird arthritic and driving the story along with sheer enthusiasm and high spirits. Given the stunning dance numbers it would be simply grouchy to expect a plot that’s as innovative as the steps on screen. Dance is the raison d’etre here and director Chu makes sure he provides everything street dance fans could ask for. Zest and enough energy to light up Manhattan are the keynotes with an enjoyably retro reference when courting couple Vinson and Sevani (who have previously worked together on TV commercials for the US department store J C Penney) perform a charming version of the Fred Astaire classic ‘Shall We Dance?' on the streets of New York. Even Astaire might have nodded approval.

As for the plot, it’s a standard helping of boy-meets-girl-boy-loses-girl-boy-gets-girl mush but more than adequate as something to fill in the dramatic gaps while the team of Manhattan street dancers set out to win a major competition and save the den where they live and rehearse. Hip-hop fans, in particular, and everyone who enjoys a rousing musical should hop off right now and enjoy themselves.

Alan Frank

USA 2010. UK Distributor: Universal. Colour.
107 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 17 Aug 2010