I caught a midnight showing of Step Up 3D at the Arclight in Hollywood. The director, Jon M. Chu and cast Rick Malambri, Joe Slaughter, Harry Shum, Jr., Chadd Smith, Martin Lombard and Facundo Lombard were present among others. Let me just say that watching the film and looking to the front and to the side and seeing the people in the film was kind of a trip. I’ve only experienced that one other time (Clint Eastwood at the Dirty Harry Blu Ray Anniversary screening), but this one still felt a little different as I was in a seat that was pretty much surrounded by the cast. They all showed up right before the previews began (perfectly timed, actually) and there were no introductions. They all acted like any other moviegoer. I did notice friends and other young actors were present, so I’m almost certain everyone kind of knew each other.
Step Up 3D follows our beloved Moose (Sevani) to NYU with his best childhood friend, Camille (Stoner). We all remember Moose from Step Up 2 and Camille was Tyler’s (Channing Tatum) little sister in Step Up. Apparently, Moose and Camille are childhood friends and have been inseparable. Yet, we never saw her in Step Up 2. Hmm. On the way to his first day of classes he gets thrown into a dance battle with Kid Darkness, a member of one of the best crews in the area, House of Samurai, and wins which seals his fate. Now, before I go on I need to say that Kid Darkness, played by Daniel “Cloud” Campos, is a scene stealer. I was impressed by him and felt he was extremely underused in the film. I was hoping to see him a lot more throughout the movie, but it didn’t happen. Step Up 4, maybe? Just kidding.
So after defacing some property during the battle, Moose is on the run and bumps into Luke (Malambri) who helps him and takes him to his place which turns out to be some sort of a shelter for dancers (House of Pirates). Luke has found amazing dancers who have nowhere else to go and offered them a place to stay where they can grow in their craft. They call themselves, B FAB, “Born from a boombox”. Unfortunately, they were not born from a bank because they are late on their payments and are ultimately evicted from their place. Unless they can win the grand prize at an upcoming showdown they will not have a place to call home. I think at this point we all know where the story is going.
I am not going to lie, the storyline is dense. The acting is not amazing, but the choreography is. I mean really, who goes to see a dance movie for the acting? It’s all about dance and that’s what you get. If you are wondering how Sharni Vinson fits in then be prepared for a *spoiler*. Luke is enamored by Natalie (Vinson) and invites her to stay with him when she says she has no place to go. We later find out that she is Julien’s (Slaughter) sister, the head of House of Samurai and she is acting as their spy. However, she only agreed to do this because Julien told her some bogus story. Personally, I think Vinson is too similar to Briana Evigan from Step Up 2, looks wise and even their voice. Evigan, however, was the better choice. We also get to see some of our favorite people from Step Up 2 to come help out in the end which was very nostalgic.
Overall, Step Up 2: The Streets still holds the number one spot for me as I felt the storyline wasn’t too shabby, the acting and chemistry between the entire cast was perfect, there was a lot more humor and flirtation going on and the dancing was better than Step Up. But dancing wise, Step Up 3D has topped it. They added a lot of new dance elements and more diverse dancers, Madd Chadd anyone? I think the difference between the previous Step Up movies and the third one could have a lot to do with the addition of The LXD, also known as The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers.
The LXD is a group put together by Jon Chu that has turned into a web series on hulu.com. I had the privilege of seeing The LXD when they opened up for the Glee Live Tour and they are a must see. These dancers show you moves that you didn’t even think were possible. Watch the web series or if you ever have the fortunate chance of seeing them live, don’t miss out. If you are a dancer or you appreciate the art form of dancing then definitely watch Step Up 3D because it will deliver above and beyond on that level. This is the movie to see for those just wanting to wind down and be entertained.
Kudos to Jon Chu for going to multiple theaters and bringing some of the cast to watch along with the fans. Even though they don’t really make their presence known or stay to chat, it really is a cool experience for those that really are into the movies and know who they are.