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Running Time:
1 hour, 38 minutes

Rating: PG-13 Parents Strongly Cautioned.

Rating Explanation:
for thematic elements, brief violence and innuendo

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
This cross between "Fame" and "Flashdance" is filled with some great-looking dancing, and a good looking cast, but it's dragged down by a too predictable script.

Additional Info:
DVD Features: Deleted scenes and bloopers; MySpace.com dance contest videos; "Making the Moves" featurette; Music videos:; Ciara featuring Chamillionaire - "Get Up"; Sean Paul featuring Keyshia Cole - "(When You Gonna) Give It up to Me"; Chris Brown - "Say Goodbye"; Samantha Jade - "Step Up"; Audio commentary with Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan and director/choreographer Anne Fletcher.

Step Up
Channing Tatum (“She’s the Man”) plays Tyler, who’s busted for vandalizing the ultra-elite Maryland School of the Arts in Baltimore with his ghetto buddies Mac and Skinny (newcomers Damaine Radcliff and De’Shawn Washington) with whom he often steals cars for the local chop-shop. Skinny and Mac manage to get away but Tyler's caught and sentenced to 200 hours of community service at the school as his punishment.

Head-of-school Gordon (Rachel Griffiths TV's "Six Feet Under") tries to impress upon Tyler the gravity of his actions but he doesn’t really get it, he just knows he’s on clean-up detail for a long time.Things are pretty dull until Tyler spies Nora (Jenna Dewan "Take the Lead") working on her dance routine for the senior showcase. Fortuitously her partner hurts his leg and she has few other options but to accept Tyler’s offer to step up. The combination of his natural ability, her trained talent and their vastly different styles results in something rather special. And not just on the dance floor.

After Nora breaks up with her upper class boyfriend Brett (Josh Henderson "The Girl Next Door"), their rehearsal heat soon turns into romantic sizzle. Naturally, there’s a second couple to fill out the plot. They’re Lucy (Drew Sidora "White Chicks"), Nora’s gal pal, and Miles (Mario "Destination Fame"), a combination DJ-music arranger who gets stiffed by Brett and becomes pals with Tyler. Of course, Tyler’s new relationships at the Arts School cause problems between him and his old friends Mac and Skinny, who see him as a sell-out, especially when he approaches principal Gordon about the possibility of transferring to the school. Finally a split between Tyler and Nora threatens their routine and their romance, until at the last minute.....well, you know what happens then.

Besides some nice dancing, there's really only one stand-out performance. That's Rachel Griffiths. But she probably got her appropriately authoritarian air of bemusement from her incredulity at the implausibility of the plot. Despite its numerous shortcomings the movie from choreographer-director Anne Fletcher (choreographer of "The 40 Year Old Virgin" and "Catwoman") is somewhat enjoyable because its spirit is so energetic and its cast so attractive.

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