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Stars: Jenna Dewan, Channing Tatum, Rachel Griffiths, Josh Henderson, Heavy D, Damaine Radcliff, De'Shawn Washington, Alyson Stoner

Director: Anne Fletcher

Electric dancing and a plot that leans on coincidence like a crutch are the predictable elements of the Hollywood musical.

Both are present and correct in this example, in which ghetto slackers break into a dance school building and wreak havoc. It happens to be the white guy (Tatum - all-American boy masquerading as streetwise hoodlum) who gets caught.

Sentenced to community service at the dance school, he soon comes into contact with Nora (Dewan), a top senior whose current partner just happens to sprain an ankle. No prizes for guessing the replacement.

Buy meets girl, then, boy dances with girl, boy falls out with girl and quits. But the returning ex-partner just happens to sprain that ankle again in time for the big finish.

Gasp at the dancing and snicker at the script, which includes such gems as 'I never believed dancing would bring you such joy after all these years' and 'This would be your risk, Nora. It's your senior piece.'

Academy Award nominee Rachel Griffiths somehow got herself involved in this as the senior dance mistress at the school, while Washington, who plays Skinny, has the distinction of creating one of the most annoying characters ever seen in films. You just pray for him to get run over by a car long before the end.

David Quinlan

USA 2006. UK Distributor: UIP (Touchstone). Technicolor.
104 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

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

Review date: 24 Oct 2006