This is a special guest-post from film critic/dance aficionado Jon Steinback, who caught Step Up 3D at midnight in Manhattan on opening night.
An enthusiastic 90-minute dance extravaganza, driven by the charm of Adam Sevani ("Moose") and the audience's reaction to the increasingly improbable chain of events. To delve into the plot would give the writers too much credit. Suffice to say that dance crews battle with menacing villains (the Samurai!), led by the chiseled cheekbones of their trust-fund-double-crossing-gambling-addicted-dance-battle-thrower leader, all while idealistic young dancers struggle to pay off their dance mecca's mortgage. The 3d seemed tacked on in non-dance moments (as did the acting and plot), but, during the choreographed numbers, this movie truly shines. It's pleasing to see a big-budget dance lovefest handled with such gravity. Jon M. Chu, the director of this and Step Up 2: The Streets (and the equally serious The LXD on Hulu), is in his groove. The opening-night audience loved it, even with the improbable escape for the two protagonists (finding a better life by hopping on a train from NY to LA).
The dance battle that followed, in the hallway of our theatre, summed the mood perfectly: