Sunday 26 January 2020

Movies: StreetDance 3D *

(PG, general release)

Paul Whitington

Paul Whitington

A British film shamelessly derived from recent American dance movies such as Step Up, StreetDance 3D is a 'let's-put-on-a-show' style yarn that's so laden down with clichés and stereotypical characters that it almost defies dissection. Likeable actress Nichola Burley stars as Carly, a talented young street dancer from Leeds who has come to London to dance with the city's 'crews' and has joined one of the best of them.

She has also fallen in love with the crew's leader, Jay (Ukweli Roach), and the group have high hopes of doing well at this year's UK Street Dance Championships.

Her little world falls apart, however, when Jay suddenly announces that he's leaving the crew and dumps Carly. Carly mopes about for a bit until she realises that the crew are looking to her for guidance. She decides they should enter the Dance Championships anyway, and help comes from a most unexpected source.

Helena (Charlotte Rampling), the head of a prestigious ballet school, notices Carly when she's delivering sandwiches, and offers her the use of one of the school's studios in return for a favour. Her latest crop of ballet students are stiff and uninspired, and she asks Carly to teach them street dance in the hope of loosening them up.

A tense stand-off between the toffs and the urchins initially results, but an unlikely collaboration will emerge to the benefit of all concerned.

The dancing in StreetDance 3D is sometimes excellent, if at times bewilderingly elaborate, but whenever the actors stop jiggling and start talking, the trouble starts. A stinky script smothers any possibility of character development or credible drama.

Irish Independent

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