STEP UP Add To My Top 10
Style Over Substance
Release Date: August 11, 2006
Genre: Musical Drama
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Distributor: Touchstone Pictures/Buena Vista/Walt Disney Company
Director: Anne Fletcher
Address Comments To:Robert Iger, President/CEO
Buena Vista Distribution Co.
(Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures)
Dick Cook, Chairman
The Walt Disney Studios
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521
Phone: (818) 560-1000
Tyler Gage (Channing Tatum) is a rebel from the poor side of the tracks in Baltimore. After a night of partying, Tyler is caught vandalizing property at the Maryland School of the Arts, an elitist school for rich youth. As punishment, a judge sentences him to perform community service at the same school he wrecked. The privileged art students soon notice Tyler mopping floors, and they learn he is the hoodlum that trashed their school. They are unaware, however, that he happens to be a very gifted, albeit untrained, dancer.
One day, ballet student Nora (Jenna Dewan) notices Tyler dancing in the parking lot, and is shocked to discover how naturally talented he is. When her dance partner for her upcoming senior showcase is injured, she must find a replacement quickly. Despite her reservations, she begrudgingly asks Tyler to rehearse with her. They gel quickly as dance partners and sparks begin to fly between them. These circumstances force them to deal with a number of issues regarding their future hopes and dreams.
From the opening credits, it is clear that STEP UP is targeting an audience raised on MTV and teeny-bopper magazines. Given that it’s a teen movie about dancing, it should come as no surprise that it plays like a long music video. Directed by accomplished choreographer Anne Fletcher, the dance scenes are often impressive and entertaining. Unfortunately, the movie also contains many of the elements that afflict teen romance movies, including a shallow and predictable plot, uninteresting stock characters, and an obvious preference for style over substance.
Although the movie contains some suggestive dancing and innuendo, it is free of sexual content and alcohol abuse. Acts of vandalizing, theft, and mild violence are depicted, but they are clearly condemned. The movie also has several redemptive elements. On the other hand, the movie has a light Romantic worldview emphasizing the importance for people to follow their hearts, which can be a dangerous message. All in all, therefore, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.
The dance scenes in STEP UP are often impressive and entertaining, but the movie also contains many elements afflicting teen romance movies. These include a shallow and predictable plot, uninteresting stock characters, and a preference for style over substance. Although the movie contains some suggestive dancing and innuendo, it is free of explicit sexual content and has several redemptive elements. The movie also has a light Romantic worldview emphasizing the importance for people to follow their hearts. MOVIEGUIDE® therefore advises extreme caution.