Step Up (PG-13)

Drama 98 August 11th, 2006
By Bill Gallo
Borrowing heavily from predecessors like Fame and Save the Last Dance, choreographer-turned-director Anne “Mama” Fletcher has made a dance romance that might provoke the old Brooklyn disco king Tony Manero to grab a big hammer down from the hardware-store wall and go Italian-crazy on the plagiarists. Buff Channing Tatum, late of She's the Man, is a second-rate Eminem type from the seedy reaches of Baltimore, and his only outlet is busting a few moves. Pretty Jenna Dewan is the ambitious rich girl who needs a new dance partner for her senior-showcase number at the elite Maryland School of the Arts. Bingo. When the raw meets the refined, art heals all wounds and romance blossoms -- at least in this familiar vision of show-biz success. Fletcher ably blends ballet and hip-hop, but the filming itself is often clumsy, and Tatum's relentless African American impersonation quickly wears out its welcome.
Anne Fletcher Jenna Dewan, Channing Tatum, Mario, Drew Sidora, Rachel Griffiths Duane G Adler, Melissa Rosenberg Adam Shankman, Jennifer Gibgot, Erik Feig, Patrick Wachsberger Buena Vista