Step-Up 3 (2010)
To enjoy musicals you have step up willingly into a compromised role as viewer. You must be willing to believe for a couple of hours that it’s normal to break into inconspicuously-orchestrated song as a means of expression, be it exuberant or despairing. Step-Up 3 is in every way a musical without singing. The story is preposterous, the acting is histrionic, and life effecting conflicts are resolved mutually by organized dance-offs. In between the silliness, is some really amazing dance talent. The “whys” of the film are endless: why are all the lead characters white and Jewish kids while the secondary cast is mostly made up of better dancing minorities? Why isn’t it considered a suspicious cult or maybe Communist that a bunch of teenagers live together in nightclub without any blemish of alcohol, drugs, arguments or sex? Why would an engineering student enroll at NYU while an aspiring film student needs to leave New York? Again, here I’m patschkieing around. Step-Up 3 is 3D, it’s fun, and the dancing is fantastic. That’s about all there is to say, but it’s also probably all there is to know.