On Tuesday evening I found myself in a very unusual position. Sardined between dozens of teenage girls and their bored, sms’sing boyfriends. The girls were there to watch Step Up 3D, the latest dance movie from director John Chu (also responsible for Step Up 2: The Streets). The rest of us were there to suffer.
Roll opening credits: Dancers talking about why dancing liberates them. Little did I know that this was the plot. If I did, I would have comfortably nestled in and fallen asleep.
Step Up 3D follows a long sequence of dance movies. Step Up, Save the Last Dance, Step Up 2: The Streets. And even before that: Saturday Night Fever, Staying Alive, Flashdance, Footloose. Each generation has them, and I suppose the Step Up trilogy is what this generation will remember as definitive. But at least my generation had vague stories to cling to long after the dance moves had faded (although a mix of tequila and Bee Gees somehow always manages to bring the cursed moves back to life.)
Step Up 3D can’t say the same. It wasn’t even in 3D. But before I sound old and sour – not everything about the movie is terrible. The actors are forgettable, the acting tinned, the dialogue a joke, the emotional moments miraculously void of emotion. But the dancing is great – street-style break dance, with a little running up the walls thrown into the mix. Spectacular stuff.
So I watched Step Up 3D. I admit it. And for two hours I felt young, stupid and alive. I actually had fun. On the way out I felt like chest-bumping the usher at the door saying Bring it on! Don’t know why. But hey, when you’re 16 you never do.
Step Up 3D shows in cinemas until the end of September.