Step Up 3D (2010) Step Up 3D isn't, in dramatic terms, a very good movie, but it's the first film in a while to use 3-D as more than… 2010-08-06 Musical Romance Walt Disney Pictures
Movie Review

Step Up 3D (2010)

DANCE ATTACK Sharni Vinson invades the third dimension in Step Up 3D
Image credit: John Bramley
DANCE ATTACK Sharni Vinson invades the third dimension in Step Up 3D
EW's GRADE
B-

Details Release Date: Aug 06, 2010; Genres: Musical, Romance; Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures

Step Up 3D isn't, in dramatic terms, a very good movie, but it's the first film in a while to use 3-D as more than a marketing ploy; it points toward an original way of making a musical. The dance sequences are glittery, percussive explosions of citified youth energy. They feature a lot of break-dance moves that are 25 years old, only executed with a stomping new aggression, and the 3-D lends them a stroboscopic, almost vibratory aura. The in-your-face visual flash is exciting. It helps to compensate for the film's hyper-thin plot and faux ''street'' corniness, with teams of dancers facing off in competitions that turn them into gangbangers gone Broadway.

The heroes are the Pirates, a rainbow coalition of hoofers who, in a sense, are the perfect image of racial and sexual integration: They're all equally bland. Except, that is, for Moose — a moptopped, floppy-limbed teen upstart played by Adam G. Sevani, who looks like Michael Cera impersonating Maya Rudolph and who dances like a marionette on helium. The editing is chop-chop manic (as if the 3-D weren't grabby enough), but then Moose and the girl he likes (Alyson Stoner) do a sidewalk duet in an unbroken two-minute take. If there's a third Step Up sequel, it would do well to let all these kids spin and pop in their own space and time. B-

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Originally posted Aug 04, 2010 Published in issue #1115 Aug 13, 2010 Order article reprints