I have not seen either of the first two Step Up films and readily admit they are not what I am clamoring to sit through. I have read good things about Chu’s short film "When the Kids Are Away" and after having watched the trailer for this short film fully understand why Chu was picked to direct the two most recent Step Ups.
Toward the end of Step Up 3D there’s a scene where Moose is apologizing to Camille for his behavior. What results is a standout, jaw-dropping musical number that’s way too short for our own good. Here the characters suddenly have chemistry and look like they’re actually having fun. Chu shows that he can not only beautifully film a scene but choreograph one too, let alone that everything is done in one take which means his editor had to thankfully keep his hands off this scene. The one thing I really want to know is, where’s the rest of this movie?! I suspect that producer Adam Shankman (director of Hairspray) had something to do with this sequence.
It looks like had Chu had been allowed to make an actual musical, he really could’ve been on to something here. But alas, everyone must wallow in the clichés and our ear drums must be pulverized by the blaring soundtrack and we must avert our eyes from literal “in your face” dance moves that are sloppily edited together and filmed as if Chu is cookie cutter MTV fodder.
Note to Chu: you have a niche, it’s just a shame you have to pay your dues. It’s already strange enough that this is Disney’s first venture into 3D filming and makes no sense, but hopefully now that Chu has cut his teeth next time we will get to see something that can really wow us and without the gimmicks involved.
Photo courtesy Touchstone Pictures