The underwhelming results come in the form of debut directors Max Giwa and Dania Pasquini's StreetDance. The first British film to be shot entirely in 3D, the project is a who's who of UK dance, with cameos from Diversity, Got To Dance champion Akai, SYTYCD's Hugo Cortes and many more. Giwa and Pasquini's background is in music videos and during the set pieces at a dingy nightclub and the final street dance contest, they come into their own with some nifty quickfire camerawork that matches the breathtaking dance moves. As one long advert for UK dance, the film works well, capturing the energy and diversity of the underground and overground scenes. Unfortunately, someone decided to stick some script and acting in the middle of it.
Centering on the adventures and romances of young, confident streetdancer Carly (Nichola Burley) - who has a habit of spending large amounts of the film in very little other than her sports bra - the movie plays out an embarrassingly corny plotline. After Carly's boyfriend leaves her crew, she is forced to find a training area ahead of the much anticipated Street Dance Championships. After a botched fundraising effort at their local shopping centre, ballet teacher Helen (Charlotte Rampling) offers them the chance to perform at her school. The only catch is that Carly must give some hip-hop training to the ballet students, who are struggling to add fire and fizz to their Swan Lake.
Predictably, the street and ballet crews struggle to work together at the beginning, but adversity and a tiresome to-and-fro romance between Carly and Nutcracker wannabe Tomas (Richard Winsor) brings them all together in the end. Splashed crudely in the middle of this are the usual lessons about not judging books by their covers and each dance crew being able to learn something from the other. The two groups eventually realise that they should celebrate their differences and work together, because only then will they be able to beat street dance rivals (Flawless). All that's left standing in their way of a Championship victory in the finale is a race against time to get to the competition, after it is revealed that the ballet school auditions are on the same day. Fortunately, the crew's best pal is sandwich delivery boy Eddie (George Sampson), who has a few delaying tactics up his sleeve.
You are always going to be struggling when the most notable actors in a film are the boss who wasn't Ricky Gervais in The Office (Patrick Baladi) and a former Holby City star, who was last seen stumbling around on Dancing On Ice (Jeremy Sheffield). However, when George Sampson turns out to be the least wooden performer and the one shining light of the project, you'll quickly understand the dire nature of proceedings. Very much like watching Lord Alan Sugar's clunky chatter about Facebook parties on the Junior Apprentice, the script has clearly been crafted by someone whose understanding of youth culture has come from reading lifestyle pieces in the Mail On Sunday.
The most disappointing aspect of StreetDance is that there is clearly potential for a great film to be made on the subject. However, rather than examining or researching the recent success of the art form and its underground origins, the movie has opted for an easier and lazier route. By saving cash on the acting/writing and purchasing a knock-off my-first-movie-script, they have been able to investing in a decent pop soundtrack and 3D visuals, which will guarantee bums on seats. The efforts, skill and hardwork of the dancers involved in the project should be celebrated, but by making a film with such little care or affection for the subject matter, it is the movie's stars who have ultimately been let down the most by this terribly tacky cash-in.
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