I can say with most certainty, that two months ago, I definitely had no urge to watch Stomp The Yard in my life. Ever. I forgot it existed, and my life was fine with that. But then two things happened.
1) One of my students said it was their favorite movie. Out of 48, only 5 students picked a movie that I hadn’t seen before, and that was one of them. Grrr… Kind of have to watch it now.
2) I saw Battle of the Year, made a joke about this movie, and realized I should hurry up and watch it.
I am not expecting really anything, some sort of college dance movie. Let’s do it. I mean, shit, I liked Drumline.
Hey, at least we have people doing flips. Like a cheerleading movie!
DJ (Columbus Short) and his brother Duron (Chris Brown) used to be street battlers. They had a crew who would battle other crews in clubs for cash. They also used to be alive.
After the battle at the beginning, they go cocky and accept a double or nothing offer. They win, pissing off the local crew even more, who want revenge. In the fisticuffs, Duron is stabbed and killed (Yes, Chris Brown dies). Well, that kind of puts a damper on things, so DJ quits the crew, moves out of LA and into Atlanta to live with his Aunt and Uncle (Harry Lennix, Valarie Pettiford), who got him into Truth University.
He gets a roommate, Rich Brown (Ne-Yo), and a new group of friends, but he doesn’t care about anyone. He just misses his brother.
Anyways, long story short, Truth University has two fraternities who are on top and great at stepping, both making it to the nationals every year. Unfortunately, one of them has won seven years in a row, and the other always comes up short. Guess who DJ ends up choosing? Well, after he is convinced that stepping isn’t just some pussy dance stuff.
He picks the underdogs, lead by Sylvester (Brian White), mostly because the girl he wants, April (Meagan Good), is dating Grant (Darrin Dewitt Henson), second in command of the other frat, and a total douche.
Then dance movie stuff happens, predictable plot turns like his past coming back to haunt him. You know. Normal stuff. Jermaine Williams is also in this movie, with a face that looks like I have seen him everywhere, but basically just in Fat Albert.
This movie is about step team dancing and colleges. Holy shit, why did no one tell me about this before?
I love watching step teams perform. Going to college in NC, I was actually able to see fraternities do this kind of stuff live. Probably not the high quality presented in this film, but it is still cool to see live. Honestly, only mainly black fraternities do this, so if you don’t live at a place with them, you won’t really know much about them. There are zero step teams in Iowa, for example. Just a guess.
As it is a dance movie, I must judge its dancing. Early on, when they were battling? That first part of the movie was horrible, a mess. The camera was all shaky, you couldn’t tell what was going on, just ugly. When they started stepping? Hell yeah. It got good then. But it could have been a lot better. The camera shouldn’t cut away as much, because part of it is watching the unison and everyone working together.
The plot was predictable, and some major drama moments just came up short. The overall story wasn’t too original. Pretty typical of a similar sports movie, about a kid getting off the streets. So there are no bonus points for the story. Only bonus points for the really fun dancing to watch and every once in awhile, a joke that actually made me laugh.
2 out of 4.