Fri, Jul 09, 2010 - Page 16 News List

Save the last dance

The plot takes a paint-by-numbers approach, but ‘StreetDance 3D’ knows how to strut its stuff

By Ian Bartholomew  /  STAFF REPORTER

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This picture begins with a group of dancers practicing for an upcoming street dance competition. The lead dancer Jay (Ukweli Roach) begs off and hands over responsibility for the dance crew to girlfriend Carly (Nichola Burley). It’s a huge challenge just to be in charge, then disaster strikes. They lose their rehearsal space. Will Carly pull through? Will she and Jay get back together? Does the boy from the other side of the tracks have a chance? Will it all end with hugs and high fives all round? It’s all pretty much a no-brainer from the very beginning. The real question is: Do you care, or will you just let yourself be carried along on the wave of energy, optimism and

good intentions that drives StreetDance 3D.

Even for those with little interest in dance, whether that of the street or the concert hall, Street Dance 3D has a good chance of carrying you along. There are some splendid dance sequences, and an introduction to various forms of street dance is competently integrated into the film. It is also always enjoyable to watch men and women at the peak of their physical beauty and strength performing movements of amazing athleticism, and it doesn’t really matter whether or not you actually like the music.

What dramatic tension there is in StreetDance 3D derives from the meeting of Carly’s street dance crew with a bunch of ballet students under the tutelage of Helena (the always fascinating Charlotte Rampling), who hopes to inject more passion into her accomplished but rather wooden dancers by forcing them to adapt to new styles of dance, and of thought. It goes without saying that the two groups get off to a bad start, and it is equally obvious that the leading male ballet dancer Tomas (Richard Winsor) is going to mess with Carly’s emotional world. One of the most exciting sequences is one performed by Winsor in which he mixes up some street moves into contemporary ballet. A number of hugely popular aspiring street dance talents such as Flawless, Diversity and George Sampson, who got their first showing in Britain’s Got Talent, also feature in the film, giving the dance-offs some of their own personal flair.

FILM NOTES

StreetDance 3D

Directed by: Max Giwa and Dania Pasquini

Starring: Charlotte Rampling (Helena), Nichola Burley (Carly), Rachel McDowall (Isabella), Richard Winsor (Tomas), Patrick Baladi (Mr Harding), Ukweli Roach (Jay), Eleanor Bron (Madame Fleurie)

Running time: 98 minutes

Taiwan release: Today


Amid all the splendid dancing and lovely young people in trendy London fashions there is some really quite indifferent acting that is aggravated by a script that is cringe-inducingly clunky. While the music may have rhythm the screenplay does not, and Helena’s little homilies on dreaming the dream and fighting the fight for art’s sake are the sort of thing that live in the notebook of a copywriter for Hallmark.

Then there is the ridiculous need to make the film 3D. This seems superfluous, partly as the way we observe dance in the real word is usually as a spectacle in front of us rather than being immersed in the action. A food fight is contrived to give the 3D effects a bit of an airing, but for the most part they are unobtrusive and it is easy enough to forget you are watching a 3D movie, except for the discomfort of the plastic spectacles. All that said, there

are far worse ways of passing a couple of hours in the cinema

than watching this well-shot

and inventively choreographed talent show.

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