From the Editor

Movie Review Archive

Thank you for checking out my movie review archive. I'm in the process of transitioning to something else, so I will no longer post new reviews to this blog. In the meantime, I will keep these reviews archived; these are from the fall of 2008 to April 2011. Please watch this blog for more info and keep in touch (you can still find me on Facebook and Twitter). Here's to more great movies!

Wes Singleton

North Texas Film Critics Association

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Step Up 3D - D+

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language, 107 minutes

Dancing only thing worthy about "Step Up 3D"

The "Step Up" movies and Adam Sandler have something in common. Based on their strong box-office receipts, both prove that movies are made to please audiences and not the critics (Sandler's recent summer flick, the dreadful "Grown-Ups," has grossed $150 million). "Step Up 3D" is the newest lame dance flick sequel that really isn't a movie, but a colorful, energetic dance video filled with young, pretty bodies floating across the screen. Pointless, plotless and just plain stupid, "Step Up 3D" is completely forgettable except for the dancing (duh!) and one young breakout cast member.

"Step Up 3D" follows Robert "Moose" Alexander (Adam G. Sevani) from "Step Up 2" as he goes off to NYU with his best friend Camille (Alyson Stoner). The lanky Moose says he's given up dancing to focus on his engineering studies, but it doesn't take him long to get drawn back into the dance crowd, and finds himself along side Luke (Rick Malambri) and Natalie (Sharni Vinson), a group who calls themselves "The Pirates" as they compete to win the big dance off and prize money to help save Luke's club he has built as a safe haven for struggling dancers.

"Step Up 3D" is a stale, flimsy film at best with some of the worst acting since Paul Walker's last movie. It would undoubtedly be the worst film of 2010 if not for two things: the energetic dancing scenes and 18-year old breakout newcomer Sevani, who stole "Step Up 2" and is by far the most talented of the cast here too. Though he doesn't possess the chiseled looks of earlier "Step Up" star Channing Tatum, he could go on to great things with his comic mannerisms and wiry dancing ability. With the right parts and better material, he could have a career similar to another classic comic dancer, Donald O' Connor, Gene Kelly's cohort in "Singin' in the Rain."

Though all the dancing is good, Sevani and co-star Stoner (who have worked together before) share the film's only genuinely magical scene in the second act, an old-school dance in the streets that is out of place with the rest of the movie but reminds of those whimsical "Be a Pepper" Dr. Pepper commercials (if you grew up in the '70s you know what I'm talking about, the rest of you You Tube it).

Otherwise, "Step Up 3D," featuring more needless 3D to cover up the fact that it's a terrible film, is pure nonsense. And it doesn't help when the leading man, the handsomely bland Malambri, can't dance (and not much of an actor, either); he's supposed to the leader of the pack but on the dance floor he's barely seen. One term he uses in the film is "BFAB," or Born From A Boombox. How about "MRME" - Most Ridiculous Movie Ever, or "GDPM" - Great Dancing Pointless Movie?

"Step Up 3D" is colorful, forgettable fun for the masses and a dreadful experience for those expecting a great film. In a month or so, you'll be hard pressed to remember anything about "Step Up 3D,' except for fresh face Sevani, who deserves a better career than this.