Street Dance – A Review

Believe it or not, I had actually been itching to seeStreet Dance 3D for a while now. Yes, it’s true.Dean Crawford is a fan of generic Dance flicks. West Side Story aside, I used to abhor these types of movies, but I happened to stumble across the first Step Upmovie some years back due to the lack of English Language films in South Korea, and came out a converted man. I mean, it wasn’t a particularly great film, but it was a lot of fun with some hilarious scenes to boot (wholly unintentional I’m sure). I also likedYou Got Served which had an amazing dance off in the finale, and not to mention Roll Bounce which had a skate off in the end. Basically, anything with an “off” in the end I’m all for. So when I saw there was an English effort being made, I was up for supporting the film and seeing if our British compatriots could ‘Step Up’ to the plate and produce something to rival the Americans.

 

Before StreetDance actually started, the final preview was for Step Up 3D, which I thought was a little unfair, yet totally apt. I felt it unfair to show what would essentially be a glitzier, bigger budget version of the film we were about to see. Yet apt seeing that StreetDance clearly owes a great debt to the first Step Up. Both films follow a dancer with raw talent, struggling to make ends meet but with aspirations of a bigger and better future. And through a chance meeting, both end up taking part in a prestigious dance school/music college. Of course, at first the two contrasting styles fail to connect, with one side being either too posh or too common for the other. But after time, and several montages later, they both realize that their styles can compliment one another and they finally learn to blend street and ballet for the final performance. But no dance movie would be complete without an outside factor hindering one’s ability to make it to the final showdown. Whether it be the big game in High School Musical or an untimely scheduled audition for the best school in the country (Street Dance/Step Up – delete as appropriate). But never fear, Cinderella shall make it to the ball and the final performance shall be had!

 

 

 

If you take the film for what it is, which is a kids Dance movie, it is a lot of fun and some of the dance routines are pretty impressive. It’s not serious in any way and generally everybody is always happy and smiling, the people wear bright colours and I’m sure they will be BFF’s forever. It’s a feel good film that I’m sure young children who have seen an episode of Britains Got Talent in the last few years will revel in. I refer to BGT of course, due to the inclusion of Dance Acts such as Flawless and Diversity, which were a nice touch, and hopefully give these skillful groups more exposure if the film makes it overseas. Flawless, in particular, have a role as the main “villain” of the piece and their routines do switch flawlessly (no pun intended) from TV to Film. Some of their moves are outstanding and I could easily watch the film again and again. That, as I have mentioned, is if you take the film for what it is.

 

If you don’t take the film for what it is, however, and decide to judge it on it’s own merits as a piece of cinema, then you would have to say it was once of the most poorly acted and lazily written films you have seen in a long time. I had flashes of Alice In Wonderland all over again, with an incredibly annoying leading lady that if I wasn’t so stubborn…or cheap…I would have left the cinema. To be fair, Nichola Burley doesn’t have much to work with in terms of a script, but there’s just no emotion in her face and her lines are so poorly delivered it’s untrue. The same goes for all the supporting cast. The script reduces them to caricatures of either posh snobs, feisty London rude girls, horny leaches or dancing buffoons. And there is no hint of originality to the story in the slightest. It’s as if it’s straight out of a Step Up “how-to” guide book but the setting has been changed to London and the script has been made less sexy and ballsy to give it a PG rating.

 

BUT, and I repeat but, that’s if you don’t want to take the film for what it is. I on the other hand do! I am willing to ignore all of the films faults and can safely say that StreetDance is a thoroughly enjoyable film for anyone under the age of 12 (or in my case, 29!) and I am glad that I went to see it and did my part to help support the UK film industry. Now, excuse me while I go and limber up for the nearest Dance Battle I can find.

 

WHAT, WHAT!!!

Categories: Film, Reviews

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