CATEGORIES Reviews
Step Up 3DThere's no shortage of films about energetic youngsters busting moves these days, but Step Up is king of the genre, thanks to two hits set at the Baltimore's Maryland School of the Arts.

Now the action relocates to New York City as Step Up 2 The Streets' Moose (Adam Sevani) heads off to college to study engineering, promising his parents he's leaving the world of dance behind. There he meets Luke (Rick Malambri) whose streetdance crew the Pirates somewhat fancifully live together in a huge Brooklyn loft space. Can Moose and Luke's new love interest (Sharni Vinson) help the Pirates defeat their rivals the House of Samurai at the upcoming World Jam battle, winning the big cash prize that will save their snazzy HQ from foreclosure?

Find out what we though of Step Up 3D after the jump... Step Up 3DStep Up 3D (12A)

Starring: Rick Malambri, Adam Sevani, Sharni Vinson, Alyson Stoner
Director: Jon Chu
Running time: 107 minutes
Trailer: Watch it here

The plot: There's no shortage of films about energetic youngsters busting moves these days, but Step Up is king of the genre, thanks to two hits set at the Baltimore's Maryland School of the Arts. Now the action relocates to New York City as Step Up 2 The Streets' Moose (Adam Sevani) heads off to college to study engineering, promising his parents he's leaving the world of dance behind. There he meets Luke (Rick Malambri) whose streetdance crew the Pirates somewhat fancifully live together in a huge Brooklyn loft space. Can Moose and Luke's new love interest (Sharni Vinson) help the Pirates defeat their rivals the House of Samurai at the upcoming World Jam battle, winning the big cash prize that will save their snazzy HQ from foreclosure?

What's good about it? Hollywood is still exploring the possibilities of digital 3D technology, and in general the more successful films deploy it in an immersive way, rather than pinging random objects out of the screen. But in this instance, the more gimmicky the better, and director Jon Chu effectively exploits the 3D form to create exhilarating sensation. The change in setting effectively refreshes the franchise with new characters and locations.

What's not so good? While the original Step Up was set in a plausibly realistic universe of street moves colliding with ballet school in a good-girl/bad-boy romance, and the sequel remained vaguely connected to reality, the third instalment has opted to segue into wild fantasy. That's not necessarily a bad thing but be advised that all grit has been thoroughly excised in favour of camp excess, with a cartoon rich-kid villain, corny dialogue and a couple of dance numbers beamed in direct from old-school Hollywood musicals. And yes, characters really do declare themselves B-FAB (Born From A Boombox) with a straight face.

Verdict: Working with a novice writing team, choreographer Chu puts his stamp on the franchise in a way that favours silly fun over credibility. You'll be laughing at it as much as laughing with it, but only curmudgeons would deny it's ludicrously entertaining.

Rating: 6 out of 10