Film Review: Step Up 3D

Posted in Film, Reviews
By Sam Bathe on 4 Aug 2010

There’s no doubting reviewers should walk into a film with an open mind, but let’s be honest, it’s impossible not to have any pre-conceptions, whatever the film you’re about to see. Be it the actors, the director, the franchise or the genre, you’ll often estimate how good you think the film is going to be and tell yourself to either like it or hate it.

Upon waiting for Step Up 3D to start, the odds certainly weren’t it its favour. Problem a) it was in 3D, problem b) it was a dance film, certainly not up there in my all time genres, and problem c) it was guaranteed to follow the cheesy big game storyline of one kid battling against the system to protect what’s good and true, all coming down to a final match-up and the moment the lead character storms in to save the day.

My preconceptions were right, but somewhat surprisingly, I enjoyed every minute of it.

Taking centre stage after being one of the side characters in Step Up 2, Moose (Sevani) has just enrolled at NYU, convinced by his parents to give up dancing and concentrate on a serious career instead, engineering. It doesn’t take long, however, for Moose to fall back into his real passion.

Inadvertently getting involved in a dance-off on his very first day, Moose is introduced to a local troupe, fighting to keep control of their loft training space and hold off the bankers baying at their door. After defaulting on their payments, however, they’re kicked out and the building placed up for auction. With only one option left to keep the group’s dreams alive, they must win the local World Jam dance competition and take the prize money that will cure all of their problems.

To say Step Up 3D is cheesy would be an understatement. The dialogue is horrendously clichéd and the plot points are over dramatic to the extreme, but given the exuberance and excitement exhibited by the entire cast, the film somehow pulls it off. You’ll laugh at some of the lines, sure, but they remain effective come the end, and if you can throw yourself into it, there’s a bucket load of fun to be had along the way.

As you’d expect, the dance routines are extravagant, and often seemingly never-ending. The choreography in Step Up 3D might not feel all that realistic but it’ll certainly amaze everyone in the audience, and gives enough for even the most dance-illiterate to enjoy.

My one negative preconception that came true on the wrong side of the lines; 3D. The 3D technology in the latest Step Up adds nothing; a couple of water droplets splash out of the screen and occasionally the background is given extra depth but that’s it. It doesn’t though detract from the experience either, so if you want to pay a little extra for your cinema ticket with no reward waiting on the other side, that’s your prerogative.

If Step Up 3D makes it to number one against some of the excellent films that are coming out at the moment, then the cinema going audience should be a little ashamed of itself. Then again, I might just get straight in line and to see it again too. And if you can ignore what is an undoubted handful of shame thrown upon yourself by checking the film out, you’ll have a great time along the way.


FAN THE FIRE is a digital magazine about lifestyle and creative culture. Launching back in 2005 as a digital publication about Sony’s PSP handheld games console, we’ve grown and evolved now covering the arts and lifestyle, architecture, design and travel.

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