Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Chucking Up

Remember on Monday when I wrote that the stupid plot of The Other Guys was all right because the film was so artfully constructed that I laughed anyway? Step Up 3D is an example of what happens when a stupid plot isn't handled that well.

Step Up 3D is a very odd movie. The dance numbers are pretty good and a few approach brilliance. Seriously, some of these look as good as any musical number ever put on film. Then there are the scenes where no one is dancing. These are mind numbingly retarded. Yes, that's an offensive word these days but this movie is offensive. In fact, if you ever think that you might be retarded, compare yourself to this movie. I guarantee that no matter what your limitations, you will look like Albert Einstein when measured against Step Up 3D. In fact, I'll never call a human being retarded again because they could never be as retarded as Step Up 3D.

Need proof? When the movie opens, you meet Moose and Camille who are played by...oh hell, they're played by someone and I'm not looking up their names. They were apparently in the first two Step Up films, a fact I only know from a magazine article. Yes, I must confess I've never seen the first two films and thus am ignorant of the lore of the Step-Up-verse. Anyway, Moose and Camille are high school chums who, for some odd reason, won't admit that they're hot for each other. They're about to enter NYU together which means there will be plenty of openings for getting hammered and waking up naked next to each other except for one thing: Moose joins a dance crew and never goes to class.

This happens when he accidentally enters a dance battle in the park against some guy named Kid Darkness, a member of an evil dance crew...let me say that EVIL DANCE CREW called the Samurais. Everyone insists that Moose bested Kid Darkness despite the fact that Kid Darkness was approximately 80 bazillion times better than Moose. This brings him to the attention of Luke, leader of a good dance crew called the Pirates. The Pirates all live together in an old, rundown warehouse but OH NO the bank is about to take it away from them due to some obscure clause in their mortgage agreement that says they have to pay their mortgage in full and on time and not be six months behind on payments like they are now. About 20 people live there so if they all got jobs they could probably easily catch up on the mortgage but, instead of that logical and practical solution, they decide to enter World Jam and use the first place prize money to save their shithole of a home.

That plot was old when Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland were doing it in the 30s and yet, that's not the end of the rank stupidity. For example, the Samurais track Moose down and demand another dance battle. Moose runs and hides behind the other Pirates and Luke says, "You want him, you have to get through us." I just couldn't figure out what the hell they were protecting him from. All they wanted to do was dance. Moose was in no physical danger at all yet everyone lost their shit and acted as if he was.

Then there's Natalie, a very athletic and very cute dancer who shows up at the warehouse and causes Luke to act like he's never seen a girl before. She and Luke know each other for five minutes before he offers to let her stay there and she can tell by his smoldering good looks and perfect pecs that he couldn't possibly be a maniac who will cut her open, rape her corpse and wear her intestines as a hat. He asks Natalie to tell him about herself and she says, "All you need to know is in my dancing." Really? I saw her dance and had no idea about things like her credit score, which Ben and Jerry's flavor she liked and whether she'd takes it up the butt and yes, I NEED to know all those things. Seriously though, Natalie is actually hiding a huge secret, not an inkling of which was revealed in her dancing.

Have I mentioned the stupid 3D effects yet that make everyone in the movie look like they're standing in front of green screens the whole time? I haven't? Well now I did. I should also bring up the fact that, while not a single one of the written jokes was funny, the film is loaded with unintentional humor.

As I said, there's some great dancing including the part where Moose and Camille perform a Gene Kelly style number in the street set to the classic "I Don't Dance." As I also said, the non-dancing parts are where brain cells go to die. The only logical conclusion is that the filmmakers simply didn't take the non-dancing parts of the movie seriously. That's too bad as they could have had a great movie had they done otherwise. My advice is skip it and hope that they get the idea to release a special DVD that contains only the dance/musical numbers. If they don't, try to go one without ever seeing Step Up 3D.

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