To say that this film is light is akin to saying that Lady Gaga has had some success. A total understatement. It is a completely brainless third installment of the "Step Up" movie series and in my opinion it has run its course. I don't even know why they felt a third film was necessary. There is plenty of great dancing that is unfortunately overshadowed by the weak story and distracting 3D.
Now, right off the bat I'm going to admit that I have totally grown tired of 3D. Why does every second film seem to feel the need to release in 3D? Some films do benefit from it but they are greatly outnumbered by those that don't. It is an effect (and that really is what it is) that is totally being overused. Directors and studios have to show some restraint starting right now. The 3D in "Step Up 3D" does not bring anything to the film and it actually detracts from some great choreography and dancing because you are too close to it – if you know what I mean. It was too in your face for me to really appreciate things at times.
The story is a familiar one with the hero turning he back on his calling (in this case dancing) to walk the straight and narrow only to be lured back by its siren call in the end. Moose (played by Adam G. Sevani) has bent to his parents' wishes and has decided to give up dance to go back to school (NYU) to study engineering. He is now dating a girl (played by Alyson Stoner) who also wants to keep him on that path.
But the pull of dance is too strong for Moose and he is right back into it after stumbling upon a street dance by the Samurai Crew. Pushed into the action he is able to show his skills. Samurai Crew and their leader, Julien (played by Joe Slaughter), are not amused and Moose ends up on the run from them and some cops.
While on the run he is rescued by Luke (played by Rick Malambri), a guy who wants to make films and works with the Pirate Crew. These dancers are a rag tag group from all walks who practice in an abandoned warehouse that Luke got from his free spirited parents. These Bad News Bears of dance have ambitions to go to and win the World Jam Finals. Now with Moose as part of the group they might actually have a fighting chance.
Things go along quite cheesily and predictably with the film. Things like the fact that the Pirate Crew need the cash from a win at the World Jam Finals to keep their warehouse and practice space are thrown in to bring about some tension but you can see them coming from a hundred miles away. Also the actors are much better dancers than they are actors. I wondered if their performances were hampered by the weak script or they themselves were just weak. You find yourself longing for the dance scenes because the other ones are somewhat painful.
The acting is pedestrian at best and the story is weak but the dancing and original choreography make the film worth a see for fans of dance.