Movies: Step Up 3D * *
(PG, General Release)
The third of this series of stilted but energetic US dance films, Step Up 3D is the first to resort to the wonders of three-dimensional movie-making, but is otherwise pretty indistinguishable from its predecessors.
The conventions of these films involve underdog street dancers overcoming the odds to win a prestigious dance-off and sashay happily into the sunset, and in Step Up 3D the underdog in question is a geeky New York college kid called Moose (Adam G Sevani).
Moose was a minor character in Step Up 2, but here takes centre stage. He's about to begin studying engineering at NYU and has promised his parents that he'll ignore his obsession with dancing.
But when he becomes involved in an impromptu dance-off in Central Park, he's spotted by a young man with a video camera called Luke (Rick Malambri).
Luke runs a kind of shelter for talented dancers and Moose soon joins their crew. There's a cloud on the horizon, however: Luke's warehouse is about to be repossessed, and the only way to save it will be to win a big dance competition with a prize of $100,000.
To do this they'll have to beat an aggressive rival crew, but Luke soon begins to suspect there's a spy in his midst.
Step Up 3D's plot would not long detain a five-year-old, and is very much secondary to a series of set-piece dance routines. These, though sometimes charmless, are impressive, and enhanced by some fairly slick 3D work.
The soundtrack isn't bad either, though if anyone else uses that 'New York' song from Sex and the City in a film score they ought to be liable for prosecution.