I haven’t watched any of the Step Up films in their entirety – they just seemed overly repetitive and unappealing to me as a viewer. Now with Step Up 4 as my first uninterrupted experience, I’ve come to the conclusion that the film franchise does what it does well…and fails monumentally at everything else.
A group of dancers organise “flash mobs” and record them for a YouTube contest with high stakes. While they attempt to get their name out, the lead dancer falls for a property tycoon’s daughter (also a dancer) and the group become entangled in the businessman’s plan to demolish their neighborhood.
I’ll just put it out there: Step Up 4 is not for an audience looking for an engaging story, the plot itself i entirely predictable and beyond cliche. In addition to that, the film tries to carry a message of community and the evils of capitalism – a notion that is entirely abandoned in the final minutes of the film. Now I’m not sure if the writers skills are retarded or if they intended to treat the audience like we’re retarded but this move is laughable in it’s absurd conclusion!
But lets set aside the the awful plot and horrendous acting for a moment and look at what the film is really about: dancing in 3D. For the visual spectacle, Step Up 4 works and works well, implementing 3-D effects quite effectively (or at least better than most films). The scenes themselves along with the choreography is really well done and if you can live with that and cut the essentials away, then this film gets 5 stars from any goofy teenager with a penchant for hip hop.
However, the inner, sensible viewer that I am rejects this single minded approach and it is all too obvious that the fundamental aspects of the production are poorly conceptualised and worse in execution – to me, that is what film is about and if the effort put into the elaborate dance sequences was mirrored in the quality of technical production, Step Up 4 wouldn’t be the footprint in cinema history that it is destined to become.
Step Up 4 has a very niche audience that will enjoy it for what it is. If you love dancing, hip hop music videos, or ogling beautiful people, Step Up 4 is perfect for you. However, those in search of good acting or a vaguely interesting story better direct their attention elsewhere.
The Bottom Line
Usually before I watch film’s like Step Up, I make sure that I have all my best insults armed at the ready. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I found out the the film wasn’t complete garbage. Sure the story is as by-the-numbers as its monosyllabic performers but that’s not what Step Up is about and I can appreciate it for that and that alone. Step Up 4 is not the revolution that it claims in the tagline but just another carbon copy of the previous films…not that I expected otherwise.