Step Up

2006-12-31 11:05

When delinquent-with-a-heart-of-gold Tyler Gage (Channing Tatum) meets privileged ballet student Nora Clark (Jenna Dewan) at Baltimore's ultra-elite Maryland School of the Arts, he's there doing community service for vandalising her school. But her future also hangs in the balance, because she needs a great dance partner for her senior showcase. Luckily, Tyler's skills as a gifted street dancer draw Nora's attention. And she's also interested in him for less scholarly reasons. As sparks fly between the two protagonists from opposite sides of the tracks, both on and off stage, life shows Tyler that he has a chance for a future far brighter than he ever imagined.


With a title like Step Up you just know it's going to be a certain kind of movie. And it's from a genre that, when it's done well, is irresistible. The best films of this kind - Grease (Greasy), Footloose (Bacony), Flashdance (what a feeling) and Dirty Dancing (oh, Baby) - are delicious classics that teach us about class differences and morality, while being as entertaining as watching someone open a great present you've been longing to give them for months.

In these kinds of movies the happy ending doesn't hurt, though it might hurt a bit along the way. The dancing adds extra sex appeal to even the least impressive of romantic scripts and, with the aid of computers, dancers can do the (literally) impossible for the sake of expressing their inner frustrations, hopes, dreams, etc.

But now many times can you squeeze the same story into a different setting before it becomes a bit of a yawn?

Step Up, though not exactly hopeless, relies too heavily on its genre. Dialogue is often sloppy and unnatural to the point of being preachy. The dancing is decent, but it's more flashy than deeply moving, and there's better breakdancing at our own Hip Hop Indaba than anything Tatum lumbers though. Kisses against the sunset and moral epiphanies on basketball courts are a bit too patronising even for a teen romance.

Yet the movie remains watchable, even enjoyable, for one main reason: the great costumes. Every kid at the school appears to be dressed by boutiques, and the alluring outfits of the female leads make for great scenery, especially if you're into Jenna Dewam's 80s flavoured poodle appeal. She always seems to have just the right lip colour on.

Speaking of colour, this is a hip-hop / urban flavoured movie, the operative word being "flavoured". Black characters are secondary to the white leads. Despite the setting in the ‘hood, the bad-boy-makes-good theme and so on, any references to black culture are merely sauce for the white chicken. The casting feels like a decision taken by cowardly producers, who just didn't want to cast a multiracial movie in the USA.

For a movie about missed and taken opportunities, Step Up misses quite a few opportunities itself, but stops just short being bad enough to miss on video. Rent it for the dancing, but don’t expect to be dazzled.

- Jean Barker
"Every second chance begins with a first step" is the slug line for this Footloose 'n the ‘hood starring mainly white people. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Binky 2006/09/29 6:00 PM
It deserves more than 2 stars! I think it was a pretty gud movie! It was very light-hearted.
Leon 2006/10/06 6:22 AM
Step Up This movie was off the hook! but i gather that you have to at least be able to recognise rhythm when you feel it, and some people can't. Step Up is about passion, reaching for your goals, defying the odds and sometimes when you least expect it, you might surprise yourself when you start believing in yourself. the music is slamming. a great up and coming cast. great story about perseverance. believe me, you wont stop moving once you leave your seat. this movie truly gives you a reason to want to move your body and shake your booty. so this your chance to step up!
rinae 2006/10/07 8:03 PM
step up this movie is good it is better than most dance and romence movies i would recommend it to it to anyone this is da best of da best no wat i mean
Candice 2006/10/20 9:40 PM
Step Up Yes! It was got my feet moving. Its a really good movie.
isabella 2006/10/23 5:08 AM
i love the movie l love the movie can you please pot the movie al hole one on the enternet only beacause my mum want let me go and see it anymore beacause i have or ready 2 love u please
rose 2006/10/23 5:12 AM
step up please put the hole movie on the internet only beacause my mothere want let me watch it anymore love u please
zara 2006/11/01 2:26 PM
Step up This movie had to be the best movie ever made. The rhythym enhanced my every move.It sent shivers down my spine of pure delight.My feet tapped to every move of this pure delight. I reccomend for the over 60's who are lacking sex appeal.The dance intrigued my 2 year old son, who can now distinguish between dancers and that shit they play on MTV, indubidly the best movie ever madE!!! ROCK ON
mohammad 2007/02/10 4:53 AM
step up can you plz put the movie enstead of the story because my freinds say the movie is way better than the story
mohammad 2007/02/10 5:08 AM
step up can you plz put the movie enstead of the story because my freinds say the movie is way better than the story
ali 2007/02/10 5:10 AM
step up you [obscenity deleted]en suck buddy why did you not put the whole movie
ali 2007/02/10 5:12 AM
step up yo you facken suck my dieck you never put the real movie
zsanett 2008/04/22 1:21 PM
king tyler your the best mnan in the world i like you
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