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Movie Review: Step Up 3D

August 6, 2010

Step Up 3D – A Touchstone Pictures’ Release

Release Date: August 6th

Rated PG for brief strong language

Running time: 100 minutes


Jon M. Chu (dir.)


Amy Andelson (writer)

Emily Meyer (writer)

Duane Adler (characters)


Bear McCreary (music)


Sharni Vinson as Natalie

Rick Malambri as Luke

Adam G. Savani as Moose

Alyson Stoner as Camille








©2010 Summit Entertainment, LLC. All rights reserved

Adam Sevani, Rick Malambri, Sharni Vinson, and Alyson Stoner perform a dance number with the aid of lighted costumes, in a standout sequence Step Up 3D.


Our reviews below:


Step Up 3D Review By John C.

*** (out of 4)

After two financially successful predecessors, comes Step Up 3D – a film that deserves to be at least as big a hit.  Side character from Step Up 2, Moose (Adam G. Savani) is the main character here, as the storyline takes a switch from Baltimore to New York.  Having been accepted in engineering at NYU, Moose is quickly invited by Luke (Rick Malambri) to join his group of street dancers.  Luke finds himself falling for fellow dancer Natalie (Sharni Vinson), while Moose finds his dancing getting in the way of the relationship with his best friend and possible romantic interest Camille (Alyson Stoner).


Luke’s troupe, The Pirates, is in the midst of training for an upcoming competition where they will face off against their rivals, The Samurai.  The competition has added importance for Luke, as he needs the cash prize to pay off a debt on his private studio which is acting as a shelter for the majority of his dancers.  Although the plot line is completely predictable and pretty much unoriginal, when these kids dance, the screen’s on fire.


This time around the focus is not just on hip-hop, but rather on the merging of different types of dance.  There’s everything from a charming throwback to Fred Astaire to a tango sequence, and it’s all equally entertaining to watch.  Two standout sequences include one danced on a flooded floor, and a climactic sequence performed with lighted costumes.  The dance sequences are all expertly choreographed, with the 3D adding a nice, but never overbearing sense of depth.


The 3D is excellent throughout, presenting a bright, vibrant image, with no hints of ghosting in scenes both on and off the dance floor.  Step Up 3D is the best of this casual trilogy, with a bigger heart behind the beat, and seemingly more connected characters.  It’s still fairly light on plot, but that barely matters with moves this good.  With some of the most spectacular dancing I’ve ever seen, Step Up 3D left me with a huge smile on my face.  And that’s a recommendation as good as any.


Step Up 3D Review By Erin V.

*** (out of 4)

Seeing the trailers for Step Up 3D and knowing I planned on reviewing it, I figured I’d better verse myself in at least part of the Step Up universe.  So, I checked out Step Up 2: The Streets shortly before this one, and was surprised to actually enjoy it.  Like this one – it was mainly because of the dancing, since the storylines are pretty cliché.


In Step Up 3D, Moose, a character from the last film, is heading off as an engineering major at NYU, when he is enticed back into the world of dance after he impulsively enters (and wins) a street competition.  He is recruited by Luke, leader of the ‘House of Pirates’ – a dance crew hoping to win the ‘World Jam,’ for which the prize is $100’000 cash.  They have to win in order to be able to pay off the mortgage on their studio, but to do so will have to come up with something really special to beat out their close rivals, the ‘House of Samurai.’


What makes this film really cool, is the dance – which is presented in a variety of styles.  And maybe that’s the point.  The storyline doesn’t get in the way of the real reason this film is – as a showcase of dancers – while still providing enough to keep things connected and you watching from dance number to dance number.


It’s fun, and the 3D (shot natively – as opposed to in post-production) is really good.  Seeing water be splashed by dancers and an amazing dancing ‘LED light show’ is worth the extra dimension alone.


Step Up 3D Review By Nicole

*** (out of 4)

Step Up 3D is a fun, toe-tapping dance film.  The third in a loosely connected trilogy, this one introduces new characters, as well as bringing back some old ones.  Luke (Rick Malambri), a dancer and filmmaker, is working hard to save his makeshift dance studio from foreclosure.  His studio, donated to him by his late parents, doubles as a refuge for dancers who are on the margins of society, such as homeless people and social misfits.  His dance troupe, known as The Pirates, soon gets some new members.  One of them is Natalie (Sharni Vinson), a pretty woman whom Luke falls for.  But she is keeping something from him that could destroy the dance club.


Another new Pirate, is actually a well-known character from the second film.  Moose (Adam G. Savani) is back, now studying engineering at NYU with his old friend Camille (Alyson Stoner).  Moose and Camille have a really cute dance number together, with an ice cream truck playing “I Won’t Dance, You Can’t Make Me.”  In fact, there are a lot of great dance numbers in this film, including a tango, a dance number on a flooded stage, “pop and lock” moves, and a really original hand dance during the end credits.  The final dance off between the Pirates and their rival group known as the Samurais is really cool.  But what is really amazing is seeing what the MSA troupe from Step Up 2 comes up with.


The RealD 3D in this film really works, enhancing the experience.  But even without the 3D, the dance numbers would still be awesome.  I would recommend Step Up 3D to anyone who appreciates dance or the performing arts.


Step Up 3D Review By Maureen

*** (out of 4)

Dance is the lead character in Step Up 3D.  The third installment in a series of energetic Step Up movies by Disney, this is the best one yet.  Step Up 3D is full of heart and soul and highly entertaining dance sequences that are enhanced by the superbly shot 3D.


In predictable fashion, the story involves two good-looking leads who dance their way into love.  The male lead Luke, (Rick Malambri) owns and runs an old warehouse dance club/studio that belonged to his late dancer parents.  The building serves as a makeshift home for an eclectic group of street dancers.  Luke chronicles the lives and stories of the various dancers with his ever-present video-cam asking them “why do you dance?”  Many of the answers are touching.  Meanwhile the building is in financial trouble and the only hope to save it is the big dance competition with a $100K prize.


Every good-looking male lead needs a female counterpart.  Enter Natalie (Sharni Vinson) the mysterious dancer who Luke has been filming at the club.  Natalie dances her way into Luke’s heart but she’s got a secret that threatens to tear them apart.  Through it all she believes in Luke and encourages him to follow his dream – filmmaking.


What makes this movie so much fun is of course the amazing dance sequences but also the rich mix of characters who make up the dance club.  Moose (Adam G. Savani) is brought back from Step Up 2.  He’s now attending New York university studying engineering with his best friend Camille (Alyson Stoner).  Moose finds himself drawn back into the dance world and he’s never been better.  There is a really sweet dance number done in Fred Astaire fashion to “I Won’t Dance, You Can’t Make Me” with Moose and Camille.  This is one of my favourite moments.  Moose also has another number danced on a floor flooded by a burst pipe.  The dancing and the 3D effects are spectacular.


Another favourite dance segment is the elegant tango scene between Luke and Natalie.  The highlight of the movie however is the final dance competition between Luke’s group, The Pirates, and his rival Julian’s group, The Samurai.  Moose’s high school dance team, the MSA from Step Up 2, return to help The Pirates nail the competition.  It is so much fun seeing characters such as “I don’t have accent” Jenny back on-screen.  Along with the other Pirate members such as the Santiago twins (Martín Lombard & Facundo Lombard) the Samurai don’t stand a chance.


Dance lovers will appreciate this all lit up, high voltage final performance.  The dancing is really good, and again, the 3D filming only makes it better.  The ending of the movie is predictably a happy Disney one.  Step Up 3D is pure summer fun guaranteed to leave you with a smile on your face and with thoughts of dance lessons.  Dance your way to a theatre, and remember to stay right through the end credits.


Step Up 3D Review By Tony

*** (out of 4)

You don’t have to be familiar with the first two Step Up movies to enjoy Step Up 3D, since the only carryover from the previous film is the character Moose (Adam G Sevani) and later some of the dancers from his former MSA Crew at the Maryland School of the Arts.  On his first day of Engineering at NYU, Moose finds himself doing a brief street dance routine that is good enough to get him recruited by the Pirates, a dance crew in competition for the World Jam.  He is torn between the demands of the dance crew and his classes, as well as his best friend from home Camille (Alyson Stoner).  There is also a relationship developing between Luke (Rick Malambri), the owner of the Pirates base of operations and newcomer Natalie (Shami Vinson).  As is typical in this type of thin musical plot, the survival of the crew depends on the prize money.


Though I rarely enjoy rap or dance music, the dance routines here are all impressive and entertaining.  The fine cast has a good script to work with.  One nice touch is a Fred & Ginger style routine between Moose and Camille.  There is excellent use of native (not postproduced) 3D that is never too dark and really adds to our enjoyment, particularly in the end credits where we are treated to a bonus number that appears to be way out in front of the screen.  The film is well paced, so it doesn’t seem too long at 107 minutes.


Consensus: Step Up 3D is the best film yet in this successful and unofficial trilogy. Although it is light on plot, the dancing is expertly choreographed and great fun to watch, especially in 3D. *** (Out of 4)

9 Comments leave one →
  1. August 14, 2010 3:08 am

    It’s terrible when it comes to the script, but has got enough dazzling visuals, and crazy dance sequences to entertain all. Great review, check out mine once you get a chance!


  2. suren permalink
    October 10, 2010 3:47 pm

    where can i purchase the costume with the lighting effects? i need it for a performance in durban south africa


  3. Taylor permalink
    January 1, 2011 11:52 pm

    where can you buy the light up sneakers like the ones one the movie


    • January 3, 2011 8:25 pm

      I’m not too sure where you could buy them, as in the movie I believe they made them themselves using LED lights.

      Perhaps something similar would be available in a specialty costume or dance store?

      Thanks for commenting!

      -John C.


  4. Jessica permalink
    July 8, 2012 5:30 pm

    I love the light up outfits


  5. Jessica permalink
    July 8, 2012 5:32 pm

    I am sssssssssssoooooooooo sad:(


  6. Lawin Irinco permalink
    September 15, 2012 5:58 am

    i have a question: How to make the led light up shirt


    • September 15, 2012 7:08 pm

      Don’t have a definitive answer, but lots of LED lights and button cell batteries are sure to work!

      -John C.


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