"“STEP UP” Lite"
What You Need To Know:
GO FOR IT follows in the vein of several predecessors, such as the popular STEP UP movie series. The dance sequences in GO FOR IT are not as creatively fulfilling as the STEP UP series, and some of the dialogue is stale, but the heroine’s personal journey is compelling. Regrettably, despite some positive Christian, moral content, there’s excessive foul language, sexual promiscuity, disturbing violence in one scene, and brief drug use. Thus, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for GO FOR IT.
(PaPa, C, B, Ab, LLL, VV, SS, N, A, D, MM) Strong mixed pagan worldview with mild elements of forgiveness, character says that “God always gives you more strength than you think” and brief depiction of Catholic iconography of Mary, but most characters behave immorally, though there’s a strong emphasis of the support of family and teachers who believe a young person can be better than their upbringing and social class; 54 obscenities and nine profanities, plus girl belches; violence includes implied physical abuse of young woman’s boyfriend as she has bruises, brothers fist fight, push and wrestle, girl punches girl in class and is suspended, girl spits on someone, and young woman is beaten and choked to death by her abusive boyfriend in a graphic and disturbing strangulation scene; brief strong and some light sexual content includes some graphic sexual dialogue, some salacious choreographed dancing in dance clubs, unmarried kissing in several scenes, implied fornication in a couple scenes, implied that young woman is staying at her boyfriend’s house, heavy petting and groping with young woman and boyfriend who have taken Ecstasy, and guy tries to force himself on girl; upper male nudity, young women’s bare midriffs seen in several dancing scenes throughout the movie, and young woman seen from behind in her bra; alcohol and beer use depicted in several scenes; drug use when couple takes Ecstasy during make-out scene; and, lying, racial comments in several scenes, disrespect to parents, disrespect to teachers, and teacher yells at students.
GO FOR IT is the story of Carmen, a college student growing up in Chicago. A young woman who dreams of more for her life, Carmen is torn between her days as a struggling student and her nights in the urban dance scene with her dance crew.
Carmen has a very busy schedule. While running from psych class to dance rehearsal, and hurrying from her part-time job at the local grocery store to the night clubs with her crew, Carmen still manages to give time to her best friend, Gina, and her new love interest, Jared. Even with her crazy schedule, Carmen dreams of being a professional dancer. One of her professors, Frank, believes that Carmen has what it takes to fulfill her dreams, but he knows she will never attain it if she cannot break free from her destructive inner-city environment.
He arranges for Carmen to audition for an elite dance school in Los Angeles, but she is reticent to accept his offer. Driven by the guilt of her commitments, Carmen is locked in a vicious cycle of staying committed to her dance crew, helping to provide for her family with her job at the grocery store, and taking care of Gina, who is in a physically abusive relationship. While everyone around her is prodding Carmen to chase after her dreams, ultimately it’s up to her to let go of the past that is holding her back and embrace her future.
With its young-urban-girl-uses-dance-to-transcend-her-environment-and-embrace-her-destiny motif, GO FOR IT follows in the vein of several of its predecessors, such as the popular STEP UP movie series. The dance sequences in GO FOR IT are not as creatively fulfilling as the STEP UP series, instead relying on quick editing to make the dancing seem more exciting. However, the character arc in GO FOR IT is a little stronger. The movie has some stale dialogue and one-dimensional characters, but Carmen’s journey – especially as it relates to her best friend, Gina – is solid. The movie, at times, becomes convoluted with too many plot points and inexplicable character twists – most notably, Frank, Carmen’s teacher. He wants the best for Carmen, but his intention is muddy and his shifts are not explained in a dramatically satisfying way.
The movie also has some content that requires extreme caution. It contains a mixed pagan worldview, with a lot of foul language, some alcohol and drug use, miscellaneous immorality such as disrespect to parents, a lot of implied sexuality, graphic sexual dialogue, salacious dancing and some violence, including an incredibly graphic scene of physical abuse where a young man beats and chokes his girlfriend to death. The movie does have some mildly redeeming elements, such as reconciliation between family members. Also, it depicts parents and teachers in a positive light, but it still requires extreme caution, especially for younger people and teens.