New York’s intense street dancing underground comes alive in eye-popping Digital 3D in the third installment of the “Step Up” franchise as the raw, passion-fueled culture goes global. A tight-knit group of street dancers, including Luke (Rick Malambri) and Natalie (Sharni Vinson), team up with NYU freshman Moose (Adam Sevani), and find themselves pitted against the world’s best breakdancers in a high-stakes showdown that will change their lives forever.
This engaging film features incredible dancing and extraordinary sets in a colorful 3D world of street dancing. While the plot tries hard to avoid its own cliches, the excitement of the dancing makes up for a lack of originality in the storyline. The characters in the film see dance as a unifying characteristic that binds friendships together and even creates family for those who have lost theirs. When one dancer’s loyalty becomes suspect, she is forced to choose between her dishonest given family and her more trustworthy dance family. In the end, maintaining loyalty to those friends who have been loyal to her becomes the most important thing.
The message of the film is positive and affirms the trustworthiness and honesty of true friendship, suggesting that this kind of support system will help you follow and achieve your dreams. Producer Jennifer Gibgot contends that the message of the film, like its predecessors, is to “believe in yourself. If you believe in yourself, you can overcome any obstacle that you are faced with in life and achieve your dreams.” However, I think she sells the film short in this regard. The film shows that none of the characters can make it alone, by themselves. In fact, they all need each other to succeed and feel whole, reinforcing the theme of a chosen family as the real foundation for achieving your dreams.
Due to some harsh street language and suggestive moves during a few dances, we’ve awarded “Step Up” the Dove Seal for ages 12 and over.