The Good, the Bad and the Exhilarating
Well, you can’t say I’m not catholic in my tastes. You probably can say I’m not very discerning.
StreetDance 3D (though really, did it need to be in 3D?? I still had my headache when I woke up this morning) is a strange beast for a cinephile such as myself. On the one hand, it’s about as predictable and banal as a teen movie gets. Before I set off for the cinema, I told a friend:
“Streetdance is some teen film with kids dancing, and it’ll be really cool, there will be great costumes (ie. young people dressing ‘naturally’ in too-hip outfits) and there’ll be a lame plot that involves a Romeo/Juliet romance and some sort of ‘bad kid makes good’ scenario, I’m anticipating.”
Well heck, I don’t want to ruin it for you – but yeah, pretty much. There is absolutely nothing new and nothing surprising as far as story goes. Perhaps the most surprising element, in fact, is that StreetDance is an English film, set in the brassiest, sunniest London-town I’ve ever seen, chock-full of feisty, attractive young people, and kindly benevolent adults. No doubt they’ll file it under ‘Fantasy’ in the video store.
So you’re not going for the script, the neo-realism, or even the performances that were faxed in by the lofty likes of Charlotte Rampling and “Neil from The Office“. What you can expect, however, is to be thrilled by the dancing itself. Nothing is more guaranteed to make you wish you were a teenager again, or inspire you to take up a hip-hop dance class. When the ‘down-to-earth, real’ street dancers take their ‘poncy, uptight’ ballet friends to Notting Hill carnival, they attend a performance by their main rivals “The Surge” – and for the audience it’s a scene of pure, intoxicating adrenalin. Pop quiz: with the climax of the Streetdance Finals looming, what do you think our hero[in]es can do to spice up their routine? (Yep. And they pay someone to write this stuff…)
The yoofs in this make-believe world of affordable studio apartments in Zone 1 and cross-class romances may not be great actors, but they are terrific dancers, and that, after all, is what this film is all about.