Step Up 3D Review

Friday night me and the girlfriend laid low and took in a flick. This time we decided to go check out Step Up 3D. I know what you’re thinking, how is a manly man like myself going to be caught dead at a movie like Step Up 3D, but then you realize that I went with my girlfriend and you’re like, alright then… Honestly, I still wanted to see it. I’ve seen the first two and they aren’t the worst movies in the world and I actually find the dancing stuff pretty cool, which is odd because I can’t dance for shit. But enough about why I went to see the movie, let’s talk about the actual movie and the 3D aspect of it.

The movie follows Moose (Adam Sevani) who you probably recognized from Step Up 2: The Streets (as well as an episode of Fantasy Factory). He’s a very talented dancer, not the greatest actor in the world, but let’s be honest most people aren’t coming to these movies for the acting. So the movie follows him as he goes off to college at NYU with his best friend Camile, played by Alyson Stoner who you may recognize from the original Step Up where she played Channing Tatum’s little sister or maybe from the Missy Elliot videos with the little kid break dancers. She’s always been around when you see little kids dancing in videos, but now she’s all grown up. So both of them are at NYU and Moose is there to study engineering, not dance, but of course he’s instantly brought back into the dance scene by The Pirates, lead by Luke (who looks like Ashton Kutcher’s doppelganger).  Luke brings him into this dance world that he’s created and they all start dancing together until the bank comes to take away their practice space, so of course they have to enter the big dance competition in order to make the money they need to pay back the bank. And that’s the gist of it. There’s a few different side story aspects of it and more people get involved, but for the sake of argument, that’s the plot. So with that out of the way, let’s talk about the actual movie itself and the 3D.

First of all I couldn’t believe that this movie is directed by the same guy that directed Step Up 2… I thought 2 was decent, but this one just seemed like it was shot weird. I understand that it was shot in 3D so they needed to make a few changes here and there in order to promote the 3D aspect of it, but some of the camera angles and movement just seemed amateur to me. There were also quite a few times when the actors are looking directly at the camera and talking/dancing, when I don’t feel like they should have been. There were some aspects of the movie where Luke is filming a dance video and there are people talking to the camera, but you know when those parts are because there’s a border around the screen to make it look like a video camera, but these scenes I’m referring to didn’t have that and it just seemed out of place. I did get why they did it at a few other parts during the dance battles because it added to the 3D aspect, but I still felt it was weird.

Since I brought it up, let’s talk about the 3D. I’ve written about 3D movie in the past and I still stand by what I’ve said… I don’t like it. For one, I have a small head so the glasses never fit me properly so every time I would sit back in my chair, the arms of the glasses would hit the headrest and they’d basically fall off my nose. Also, I don’t like watching a movie through sunglasses. It dulls out the colors of the movie and just annoys me when I know the scene is supposed to be vibrant, yet the glasses make it look terrible. And the main thing I hate about 3D movies is the ghosting. I just don’t think the technology is quite there yet. The screen isn’t 100% clear when watching it through the glasses, especially in a movie like this that has a ton of movement, everything just starts to blur. There were a few cool scenes where 1 dancer at a time would be featured in the frame doing some isolations or whatnot, and that looked really cool, but when the whole group is dancing and there’s so much going on it was more annoying than anything. There were also some points where you could tell they were doing things just because it was in 3D and I don’t really care for that either. The one thing about 3D that I do like is that it adds a ton of depth to the scenes that don’t have a lot of motion. There’s one scene in particular where Luke is sitting on a rooftop that looks out at the Brooklyn Bridge and the New York skyline and it looked incredible because of the 3D, I actually felt like I was sitting with him on the rooftop. But other than that one scene, nothing else really impressed me.

Now that’s not to say that it was a bad effort. I think it was done much better than something like Clash of the Titans or The Last Airbender (especially since Step Up was shot in 3D and not a conversion), but I still don’t think the technology is where it needs to be for the mass market.

To wrap things up, the movie itself was entertaining. The acting was a little ‘meh’, but the dancing and the music were really cool and let’s be honest that’s what people are going to see. Nobody gives a shit if the main character hasn’t been in any other movies, he’s not trying to win an oscar here. So if you’re looking for cool dance moves and some good music, and an interesting take on 3D, then I would suggest checking it out. But don’t worry, if you don’t get to see it in 3D in the theater I think it will hold up just fine in 2D once it hits blu-ray.