Step Up (2006)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Dance Film, Teen Movie  |   Release Date - Aug 11, 2006 (USA)  |   Run Time - 103 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - PG13
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Review by Jeremy Wheeler

If one sees enough dance films, they'll quickly get hip to the cliché-ridden inbreeding found in each new entry that is released. Such is obviously the case with Step Up, a ballet hip-hop cinematic mash-up that stumbles across the screen with little grace and nearly nothing new to add other than two fresh-faced anemic leads that the kids will swoon over while everyone else is left scratching their heads. The movie is far inferior to its cinematic siblings from the same time, with dance scenes that have zero blood pumping through their veins, while again, the leads are a funky bunch who defy any rule of stardom that doesn't mention how hot they are. Of the two, Channing Tatum comes off the worst, with his indecipherable cottonmouth line readings and clunky charisma filling the screen for all to see. Once again, this dance flick relies on a third act death of a youngster to propel the story along (see 2004's superior You Got Served for an all-too-similar plot structure), which only makes the whole movie seem that much more been-there-done-that. Of course, the dance competition finale is a rousing success, though just try and figure out how the troupe would have accomplished it without thespian Tatum coming to save the day. All of that said, any reviewer who thinks that their criticism will stop the hoards of hungry dance film followers from eating this sucker up is in a for a big surprise, but that won't stop time from forgetting this barely laughable entry in the long line of big-screen toe-tapping inner-city-youth flicks.