Last night I went and saw Step Up 3D. I am a huge fan of So You Think You Can Dance, and when I see a preview for a movie like this, I get excited. Especially when I recognize several of my favorites from the show are in the movie. Dorky, I know, but I can't help it.
So, the plot was hokey. No surprise there. A new college freshman engineering major whose parents want him to stop with "that dancing stuff." His best friend (a girl) who is secretly in love with him. A rag-tag bunch of amazing dancers living in a warehouse. Lines about how family we create is stronger than family we're born to. A financial need to win the biggest dance battle ever. Excitement! Intrigue! Betrayal!
In a movie like this, though, the plot is not the star. The DANCING is the star. And boy, was there dancing. The two most incredible scenes included a battle with a flooded dance floor and a battle with light-up pants, shirts and shoes that looked amazing. Some of the dancers I recognized were Legacy (SYTYCD Season 6), Joshua (SYTYCD Season 4 Winner), Dave Scott (choreographer), and Twitch (SYTYCD Season 4). Twitch is one of my all time SYTYCD favorites, and this season has been on as an all-star. His routine with Alex Wong was one of my favorite ever on the show, you can see it here.
I was surprised to see Alyson Stoner as one of the lead female characters, but pleased. We first saw Alyson when she danced in two of Missy Elliot's videos. See her in Work It starting around 2:30:
And in Gossip Folks starting around 1:12:
She is an awesome dancer, she has also guest starred on some Disney shows and does a regular voice on Phineas and Ferb and has at least one song recorded, if not a whole CD. I am a fan of hers, my only complaint is I wish she had had been featured a little bit more.
Of the rest of the cast, I was ESPECIALLY impressed by twins Martin & Fecundo Lombard. When they danced, I just couldn't take my eyes off them. There are lots of videos of them on YouTube, here's one of them:
I wasn't sure how the 3D would affect the movie experience, but I actually thought it was pretty cool. A lot of times when the dancers were doing handwork their hands and arms would be kind of coming out of the screen. I definitely thought it enhanced the movie somewhat. I absolutely love Jen Yamato's description from her review on Movies.com: "For the most part, Chu's use of 3D is of the immersive kind -- incredible depth of field combined with meticulously choreographed movement that gives one the feeling of being literally on the ground facing the best dancers on earth, about to get served."
I also thought the end credits were really cool, including the bonus of a video J-Smooth, doing something called "Finger Tutting," which is basically dancing with your hands.
All in all, I really enjoyed this movie, and would definitely watch it again in the theater if a friend wanted to go. If you've been a fan of other dance movies, if you like SYTYCD, or if you just enjoy watching really awesome dancing, you should see it. Actually, even if you don't think you're into that, maybe you should see it. You might discover something new and very cool!
I don't think I saw the first 2 movies in the theater, I may not have seen them at all. On my way home in the car after the movie though, I decided that I need to start collecting dance movies. I already have a disaster movie collection, and I've learned over the years that the DVDs I really want to own are ones I'm actually going to watch multiple times. I could watch this kind of movie over and over. I'm going to put some of my other DVDs/DVD box sets up on Swap a DVD so I can bulk up this part of my collection. So far on my list are Save the Last Dance, You Got Served, Step Up, Step Up 2, Footloose, Dirty Dancing, Breakin', and Stomp the Yard. Any other suggestions?
When I walked out of the theater after the movie, I saw a couple of parents with little girls who must have been about 7 years old. They were dancing like robots. Then one of them exclaimed "I LOVE Legacy!" It was adorable, and in the end that might have been even better than the movie itself. Who can really bag on something that might inspire kids to do something they really love?