Andie (Briana Evigan) belongs to the 410 crew. They’re composed of the greatest dancers on the street who frolic around disturbing the peace with their talents. After disputes with the crew leave Andie on her own, she gathers up the school’s most talented misfits to create an impressive dance crew to gain respect.
If you’re familiar with the formula, then you know the outcome. It is nothing new, nor does it try to be. But with the talented cast of stylish dancers, this film exceeds expectations and looks good while doing so. If only the film was all dance moves that tell a story, rather than mixing it with slang terms and preaching right and wrong in the end. All of this is unnecessary and could have been filled in with more dancing.
Energetic, explosive and enthralling dance moves are what entices the viewers and basically makes them forget how predictable and cliched the storyline is. One character in particular really stood out with impeccable dance skills, Moose (Adam G. Sevani), who blew me away in the final dance scene. It is clear that this is all style and no substance. But you know what, I didn’t care and neither should you. The cast is young and good-looking, the characters are gratifying, and the dance scenes are dazzling. It is everything a movie like this needs in order for the viewers to forget all the blemishes.
The acting isn’t always good, but these unknowns look comfortable in front of a camera which lines them up for much broader roles in the future. It’s very predictable and widely cliched, but what else is there to add to such overused material? You will be overwhelmed by the well-choreographed flips, spins and rhythm of each movement.
Everything in between the smooth movements and free-styling galore plays out like another insipid melodrama, complete with romance and violent stir-ups. Director Jon Chu does what he can and makes it work. I highly recommend it for some great set pieces, magnificent tactics in the dancing portions, and an attractive cast that elevate it beyond its overly familiar plot.
The Dance-Off Edition DVD special features that include deleted scenes, music videos, outtakes, Lead Actor Robert Hoffman Video Prank, Outlaws of Hip Hop, and The Making of Step Up 2. 3.5/5 stars