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Step Up

Step Up

Director:Anne Fletcher
Cast:Jenna Dewan, Channing Tatum, Mario, TK, Damien Radcliff, Alyson Stoner, Drew Sidora
Release Date:2006
Genre:Teen Flick

Opens Aug. 11

By Bret McCabe | Posted 8/9/2006

Baltimore gets its romantic teen-dramedy closeup in choreographer Anne Fletcher’s directorial debut. Tyler (Channing Tatum) is a high-school orphan living with foster parents in a working-class neighborhood--Hampden--where he is one of the minority white kids at the predominantly black school. He hoops with his boy Mac (Damaine Radcliff) and Mac’s younger brother Skinny (De’Shawn Washington), and they occasionally boost cars for some spending cash. Tyler can also dance his ass off, and when he gets sentenced to community service at the tony Maryland School for the Arts, he eyes this whole other world where young people can pursue their creative dreams--and spies young dance hottie Nora (Jenna Dewan). Step Up’s Baltimore is naturally movie-skewed--as in, Hampden is near the water here--but that’s the least of its problems. The biggest problem is that this supposedly dance movie just doesn’t have enough dancing in it: As in, it casts Alyson Stoner--the young white girl from the Missy Elliott videos--and doesn’t give her a dance scene. Better: Heavy D as the neighborhood chop-shop owner, Rachel Griffiths as Arts’ principal, The Wire’s Deirdre Lovejoy as Nora’s mother, and hometown boy Mario in his feature debut looking like the only guy not acting when everybody hits a house party.

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