When’s it out?

Step Up 3-D goes on general release in the UK this Friday, August 6th.

Who’s in it?

Rick Malambri, Adam G. Sevani, Sharni Vinson, Alyson Stoner, Keith Stallworth.

What’s it about?

Shortly after commencing his first term as an engineering student at New York University, freshman Moose (Sevani – returning from Step Up 2 The Streets) is quickly inducted into a tight-knit, ragtag band of street dancers known as the Pirates, and is consequently drawn into the group’s fierce rivalry with another local unit known as the House Of Samurai.

What’s it like?

An infectiously upbeat contemporary musical.

Star of the show?

It’s the 3-D. The two previous Step Up films both featured some outstanding dance choreography, but also a strange penchant for close-up shots that never really brought out the best in the performers. Here, director Jon Chu is acutely aware of the 3-D element at all times, and as a result not only is the 3-D footage some of the most striking seen since Avatar, but the dancers (and the film’s choreographers) are similarly shown in the best possible light.

Biggest surprise?

It’s probably the unexpectedly effective mocumentary footage that punctuates the story. The Pirate’s leader Luke (Malambri) is also an aspiring independent film-maker, and his homemade documentary film – comprised mostly of heartfelt interviews with his troupe – is a wee bit slushy but also surprisingly well-acted; and the team’s belief that the finished video could be Luke’s ticket into film school is absolutely plausible.

Best bit?

The film’s finale, in which the Pirates inevitably face off against their rivals in a huge international dance contest, is genuinely eye-popping, with the group kitted out in TRON-style light suits. It’s all synchronised colour changes and impromptu laser displays, and you’ll leave the cinema wanting more of it. That aside, the Singin’ In The Rain inspired dance sequence that appears around the halfway mark, is probably the film’s most purely enjoyable scene.

Verdict

The plot was never going to be in any danger of winning prizes for originality, but Step Up 3-D’s relentless optimism, heart and pace coupled with a steady stream of jaw-dropping 3-D dance sequences, single it out as perfect family viewing for the summer holidays.

Hit or miss?

Hit.

Watch the Step Up 3-D trailer here…

Buy the original Step Up movie on DVD & Blu-ray at zavvi.com

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