StreetDance 3D Review
|REVIEWS - MOVIES|
Ballet meets 'Street' in an often-tense mixture of dance styles. Oh, and it's in 3D.
There's a healthy back-catalogue of legendary films in the dance genre from Grease, Dirty Dancing, Flashdance, Fame, The Red Shoes, Footloose, Strictly Ballroom and Saturday Night Fever to musical classics like Singin' in the Rain, all focusing on different dance styles and using a unique protagonist's predicament to incorporate impressively choreographed sequences. Modern all singing and dancing releases favour the competition format, perhaps spurred on by the recent popularity of TV shows like Strictly Come Dancing, So You Think you Can Dance and Got to Dance. StreetDance 3D is no different and doesn't pretend to be – its unique selling point is the added effect of 3D and its attempt to fuse two dance disciplines.
Our heroine, Carly (Nichola Burley), opens the film with a rather clichéd voice-over explaining how she moved out of home and got a new family: “my crew share my dream”. When her boyfriend and the group's leader, Jay, leaves claiming he needs “time out”, Carly is left to keep the group together and prepare them for the street dance competition finals. Unable to find rehearsal space, the future looks dire until she stumbles upon Helena while making a delivery one lunchtime.
Helena (Charlotte Rampling) was once a talented dancer and now tutors at the prestigious Royal Ballet School. Faced with a passionless class of nonetheless talented ballet dancers, she decides street dance might be the way to “put some attitude into their attitudes”. She cuts a deal with Carly forcing her to incorporate the ballet dancers into her “crew” in exchange for use of the studio. With six weeks before the competition, practise is tough if they are to beat the reigning champions and rivals, The Surge.
"The dancing isn't the only choreographed aspect of StreetDance 3D - a food fight, hat throwing and slowed down dance moves are among a variety of ploys used to fully exploit 3D 'wow'"
The ballet lot (“bendy chicks” or “the flappers”) must re-learn to slouch while “the seizures” must teach them their improvised moves. Tensions run high as the two opposing disciplines clash in attire, attitudes and diets, resulting in a laughable initial sequence depicting the hostility between the two dance troops and ridiculously inoffensive taunts like “ballet boy” or “tutu tits”.
Eventually inspired by Thomas and with subtle guidance from Helena, affectionately called “Miss” throughout, Carly decides to “rip up the rules” by fusing ballet and street dance to create their own unique look. What follows are a series of spectacular dance sequences and montages, incorporating Britain's Got Talent dance troops, Diversity and Flawless and including a cameo from Got to Dance winner, Akai Osei. Weeks of preparation culminate in a heated dance-off reminiscent of scenes in 8 Mile and Zoolander before the finals – their one shot at US fame.
The dancing isn't the only choreographed aspect of StreetDance 3D - a food fight, hat throwing and slowed down dance moves are among a variety of ploys used to fully exploit 3D 'wow'.
"Attempting to reel in a male audience, there are plenty of gratuitous unnecessarily lengthy scenes of Carly changing or practising scantily clad with sweat particles glistening on her bare flesh or arse shots of shaking booty."
Charlotte Rampling is the celebrity name in a predominantly unknown cast. Nichola Burley makes her big screen debut as Carly rising from her TV career while Richard Winsor gets a lucky break as Thomas in his second role. Eddie (George Sampson of Britain’s Got Talent fame) is the comical crew “jacket holder” who pulls through for the team in the end.
Attempting to reel in a male audience, there are plenty of gratuitous unnecessarily lengthy scenes of Carly changing or practising scantily clad with sweat particles glistening on her bare flesh or arse shots of shaking booty. Aside from impressive dance sequences, romance and stirring cheese, Thomas acts as eye candy to keep the ladies happy, repeatedly getting his top off to flex those muscles and using every opportunity to get those pecks out. There are moments where you can do nothing but snigger at the shameless posing, but overall StreetDance 3D does what it sets out to in providing feel-good heart-warming entertainment that showcases some striking moves.
Directors: Max Giwa, Dania Pasquini
Writer: Jane English (Sugar Rush)
Running Time: 98 mins
Starring: Charlotte Rampling, Patrick Baladi, Nichola Burley, Chris Wilson, Eleanor Bron, Frank Harper, George Sampson, Rachel McDowall
StreetDance 3D opens May 21st 2010, with previews this coming weekend
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