And so it’s come to this: the first British film to be shot entirely in 3D. When will the horrible domination of 3D end? When will it just become a gimmick rather than an actual entertainment form? Well actually, this particular movie actually benefits from the use of 3D….
So it goes like this: boy and girl are in streetdance crew. Boy leaves streetdance crew. Girl takes over crew. Girl loses rehearsal space. Girl finds new rehearsal space in ballet school. Crew forced to take on ballet dancers. Crew go to national competition. And that’s it. Seriously, that’s all the storyline there is really: even the love story is so flimsy that it could disintegrate in a light wind.
But hey, do we honestly think that a film like this is actually anything to do with, er, storyline? It’s all to do with the dancing, people! And pretty impressive it is too: featured in the movie are Britain’s Got Talent participants Diversity, Flawless and George Sampson (er, although I don’t think Sampson is from BGT, but never mind). Diversity only actually appear once in the whole film which is a little disappointing since their routines are more cleverly put together and challenging than the others. Flawless, for instance, mostly just get by on moving their arms and hands around at a rapid pace and Sampson is pretty much the same. The main crew’s attempt to combine streetdance and ballet in the finale is interesting but it is hardly unexpected: the ballet aspect is kept to a minimum while the streetdancing takes over.
Well we won’t hold that against them. Essentially this is supposed to be about culture clashing and the need to work together (although you could be made to believe that these bits are just tacked on). So it’s on to that controversial thing: the 3D. Now I’m not a big fan of things flying in my face and feeling threatened by it. However, this only happens twice in the movie: once when Jay (he’s the guy who leaves the crew) throws his hat at the audience in the streetdance auditions, and secondly when there’s a big food fight in the ballet school canteen. The rest of the time the 3D is actually put to very good effect (because, you know, things coming out of the screen at you is so gimmicky). It gives a sense of depth and spacial awareness that would otherwise be lost in 2D format, and while sometimes the effect means that the story elements of the movie are a little blurred and are cut out by people moving into shot, it adds a great deal of excitement to the dancing. Good job then, since it’s actually made up of 75% dance.
On a final note, while R’n’B and dance may not be everyone’s cup of tea in the outside world, there’s no doubting that in this film it adds a great deal of power to the dance sequences. I thought the soundtrack was brilliant, perfectly matching the action. The only slip-up was when Snow Patrol somehow slipped in there: surely the sound engineers could have picked an R’n’B ballad – Beyonce anyone? Never mind: apart from this one flaw the music is great.
Verdict: StreetDance isn’t winning any prizes for story, intellectualism or originality but hey, when you’ve got a couple of hours of pure escapism that involves a good deal of brilliant dance routines and a killer soundtrack, who cares? Spend some time with it: you might be pleasantly surprised!