Length: 98 minutes
Director: Jon Chu (When the Kids Are Away; Silent Beats)
Writers: Toni Ann Johnson (Save the Last Dance; Crown Heights) and Karen Barna (“The Mountain”)
Starring: Briana Evigan, Channing Tatum, Robert Hoffman, Adam G. Sevani, Will Kemp, Cassie Ventura, Danielle Polanco, Christopher Scott, Mari Koda, Janelle Cambridge, Black Thomas
Once in a while a movie comes along that just changes something inside of you and makes you realize why movies, well, suck so bad sometimes. Why people can watch movies like “Step Up 2”- sorry “Step Up 2: The Streets” and leave happy and texting their friends shit like “yo step UP 2 iz fresh! Dancin wuz off da chain!!!” keeps me up at night. I never saw the original “Step Up”, but something tells me it wasn’t too different from what we’ve got going on here, though I heard the original was more of a love story in the “Dirty Dancing” mold (haha or so I imagine the press releases stated). Here, street wise orphan Andie (Briana Evigan- star of the “Donnie Darko” sequel coming out next year. Be worried) is part of the “misfit” dance crew, the 410, in the tough streets of Baltimore. They do all kinds of rebellious and dangerous stuff like perform impromptu dances in the middle of the mall. Damned punk kids! Despite Andie’s dedication to the 410, her aunt thinks she’s wasting her life (funny, like Andie thinks her professional occupation in life can be being part of a rebel street dance team- I wonder how that pays the bills? Do you do some break dancing for the utility guy that comes to shut the power off?). The aunt wants to kick Andie out, but one of her friends (Channing Tatum- the star of the original) intervenes and after beating Andie in a lame dance off (it ends with him losing his shirt like he attached it to a coat hanger- WHOA!), he convinces the aunt to let her stay and Andie to go to some prestigious school of dance. Andie reluctantly goes, falls for one of the prize dancers (Robert Hoffman), gets some jealousy from some of the school girls, and starts a rivalry with her old crew who accuse her of selling out. This, of course, leads to what you all want to see- a bunch of overlong and stupid “dance offs” where the “dancers” look like they are having seizures while the others crowd around them in a circle, then the “dancer” gets up and starts pointing his/her finger at their opponent and shouting a bunch of “now what”s! I have a feeling that many of us could out “seizure dance” most of these people- and for anyone that wants to comment on how hard it is to actually perform these dances- that may be true- but really what is the point? Why go through all the trouble? This is one of the only movies I’ve seen where the adult that tells the kids that her dreams are foolish is actually right. Ten years from now is dancing and acting like your shirt is taken off from a coat hanger going to get you that promotion at work? The dancing is a waste of time, but more importantly so is the movie.