Plot schmot, Step Up 3D deserves applause

I’ve yet to be at all convinced by 3D. It seems to be there simply to make people ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ as things point at them, without enhancing a story or adding depth. Take Inception for instance. 3D would surely have actually detracted from the beautifully constructed visuals rather than improving them.

However, maybe with the release of the latest in the Step Up series, 3D has found its home. The dance sequences in this third installment were simply magnificent and the 3D effects – while still littered with gimmicks – really made you feel like you were right there on the stage with the cast. During these lengthy set pieces, it was perfectly okay to be wowed when it looked like someone was popping through the screen because it was taking nothing away from the story. It was a visual treat that understood the purpose and the limitations of 3D. Although, even in two dimensions, the dance routines would still have been fantastic.

As for the plot. Well, plot schmot. Essentially the exposition – clunky, cheesy and hackneyed as it was – merely served to join the dots between routines and featured some brilliantly hopeless dialogue. Characters would say something like: “The biggest decisions in life are never easy,” before looking into the mid-distance with a thoughtful/troubled expression, like Plato in pumps. Another example came when, as the romantic leads were considering leaving New York, the girl with the abs said to the guy with the pecs, “We could go anywhere,” before slightly undermining the world of possibilities by adding, “Even California.”

But, while none of the audience were there for the plot, the film’s overall tone was great, in that it managed to portray the kind of supercool urban world that every teenager would want to be a part of, without there being even a hint of booze, sex, drugs or violence. And for that, Step Up 3D deserves applause.