Some movies have the uncanny ability to overcome their dopey screenplays by either having actors more capable than the writing or a director who knows what he’s doing. Strangely, Step Up 3D has a little of both going for it; unfortunately, it’s only for one take. While the film as a whole is pretty much a solid case of “you get what you pay for,” this one scene makes you long for an entirely different film but I will get into that later.
Director Jon Chu could very well find a name for himself as a great musical director. If he could find a script better suited for the style that pops up towards the end of this effort, he could definitely pull the next great Hollywood musical right out of his ass. Alas, for now, he’s working with a script so inept and clichéd that it veers toward parody if the film weren’t taking itself so gosh darn seriously.
What first time screenwriters Amy Andelson and Emily Meyer have cobbled together is laugh-out-loud hilarious but not because it’s supposed to be. This is a script that thinks it’s a clever endeavor needing to save the warehouse from being sold because it’s the only place these kids feel they can call home. It weirdly calls to mind another unintentionally funny film, August Rush, which itself wasn’t too shabby when it was focusing on the music and not the crazy antics of Robin Williams.
In Step Up 3D, you’re never sure who the real main characters are but this surely is no ensemble piece. I suppose it comes down to the two couples. First you’ve got best friends Moose (Adam G. Sevani returning from numero dos) and Camille (Alyson Stoner from the original) starting their freshman year at New York University. (It’s never explained why these long-time best friends haven’t appeared in the same movie until now.) After bidding his parental units adieu, Moose notices someone wearing some limited edition Nikes and follows this stranger into the middle of a step-off where Moose accidentally gets chided into participating. Meanwhile he not only puts the beat down on Julien (Joe Slaughter) but causes such a ruckus the police get involved and Moose takes off with Luke (Rick Malambri).