Shut up and keep mov­ing

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Movies - LEIGH PAATSCH

AND here you were think­ing that if you’ve seen five min­utes of one Step Up movie, you’ve seen them all.

Come on now. Who even thinks about Step Up movies any­way?

The mak­ers of the se­ries cer­tainly don’t. For them, as it is for all Step Up fans, nothin’ else counts but the dancin’, dummy.

While the dum­mies doin’ the dancin’ in Step Up 4: Miami Heat are as in­ter­change­able as ever – ev­ery­one’s skill set can be safely listed as abs, at­ti­tude and ab­so­lutely no act­ing tal­ent what­so­ever – the chore­og­ra­phy on dis­play is uniquely in­spired. On oc­ca­sion, it can be en­thralling. Look no fur­ther than the set- piece se­quence that opens the movie.

A Miami traf­fic jam is hi­jacked by a flash mob that ap­pears out of nowhere, com­plete with their own DJ, videog­ra­pher and, er, open- air in­stal­la­tion artist.

Once each end of the thor­ough­fare is se­curely blocked, the crew set about gy­rat­ing on ev­ery avail­able flat sur­face they can find at blind­ing speed, and with daz­zling syn­co­pa­tion.

Cars be­gin to arch sky­wards in time to the beat. The open­ing and clos­ing of doors add an­other layer of per­cus­sion.

The whole ve­hic­u­lar vista is both ex­haust­ing and ex­hil­a­rat­ing to take in.

Ex­em­plary 3D cam­era work and some truly vir­tu­oso edit­ing tricks def­i­nitely play a part in amp­ing up the elec­tric­ity on screen, but there can be no deny­ing the charge given off by the pack­age as a whole.

Al­most ridicu­lously, far from blow­ing its best dance ma­te­rial in the first five min­utes, Step Up 4 has at least three more self- en­closed num­bers fired with an equally blast- wor­thy cal­i­bre.

At this point, I will add that I have seen ev­ery sin­gle dis­pos­able dance pic­ture of the past decade, all of which range from the barely tol­er­a­ble ( the orig­i­nal Street­dance) to the bla­tantly bad ( You Got Served).

On a pure move­ment ba­sis, Step Up 4: Miami Heat wipes the dance­floor with the lot of them.

There­fore it pains me to men­tion what tran­spires when the cast of Step Up 4 pause for wasted breath to ser­vice a sto­ry­line that could be clas­si­fied by the UN as tor­ture if read aloud to po­lit­i­cal pris­on­ers even once.

Let us sim­ply ac­knowl­edge there is in­deed a com­pe­ti­tion that must be won to save a neigh­bour­hood from an evil prop­erty ty­coon, and just leave it at that, shall we?

Quick, let’s get back to the danc­ing, and re­state the bare- midriffed fact there is noth­ing rou­tine about any of the Step Up 4 rou­tines.

Even the seem­ingly corny ‘‘ hey, let’s turn a stuck- up art gallery into a down­town disco!’’ se­quence turns out much, much bet­ter than it could have been.

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