Pirates and Samurais
I liked both "Step Up" & "Step Up 2" but I honestly thought that two movies were enough and "Step Up 3" proved me right. You see the trouble is that "Step Up 3" is more than ever just an excuse for showing off dance movies especially with it being in 3D and suffers from a weak storyline which is so unimportant that it only fills about 15 minutes of the movies 107 minute running time. Some might not mind this and just enjoy the exhibition of dance and music but then as a movie reviewer I can't ignore that whilst entertaining it doesn't work as well as it could.
Moose (Adam G. Sevani) is off to NYC to study engineering having promised his parents and best friend Camille (Alyson Stoner) that he has put the dancing behind him. It doesn't last long as on his first day in the Big Apple he ends up in a dance off against Kid Darkness (Daniel 'Cloud' Campos) from the House of Samurai crew and Moose's moves brings him to the attention of Luke (Rick Malambri) who manages the Pirates crew whilst making dance documentaries. Soon Moose finds himself torn between dancing in battles with the Pirates, his studies and Camille whilst Luke finds himself falling for the pretty Natalie (Sharni Vinson) who holds a surprising secret.
So from a non movie critic view I would say that "Step Up 3" works because in all fairness it was created to show of the muscle aching dance moves in 3D. It has the driving music to accompany it and some of the most outrageous dance moves you will ever see be it synchronized routines or bouncing on one hand. And it is colourful as well with great sets which border on the fantasy and excellent use of lights. It is wonderful eye candy especially with some good looking young people such as Sharni Vinson who plays Natalie.
But here is the thing, for the first half of the movie it doesn't really give a storyline, just one dance scene after another and then for 15 minutes the dance takes a back seat whilst the storyline is focused upon. The storyline is three fold, you have Luke fighting off the bank to save the warehouse where his crew live, Moose letting down Camille and of course the relationship and mystery between Luke and Natalie. But it slows everything down and becomes uninteresting as for 15 minutes it feels like it has to deliver some form of story. If the storyline had done a better job of interweaving though the movie it would have been so much better.
As for the acting well it is a mixed bag with several of the actors prone to some over the top and cringe worthy facial theatrics. But in truth Adam G. Sevani as Moose is entertaining whilst Rick Malambri and Sharni Vinson both have the ideal good looks for the romantic subplot.
What this all boils down to is that "Step Up 3" is for people who don't really want storyline but want 107 minutes of in your face dancing delivered in 3D. It does make it inferior in some ways because the storyline that is thrown in is so unimportant it barely fills any screen time but you cannot deny it is a visual treat of modern dance.