Total Film - 04/01/2007 3 stars out of 5 -- "[The film] benefits from the high-energy dance moves, which add a vital pulse..."
Empire - 09/01/2007 3 stars out of 5 -- "[With] strong performances and a discreetly inspiring message....The humor and talent of its cast keep the popcorn enjoyment high."
What is the difference between a gang and a team' DJ Williams (Columbus Short) is forced to confront this question, along with the usual post-adolescent romantic and family conflicts, when his well-meaning uncle (Harry Lennix) enrolls him at his Atlanta alma mater, Truth University. His enrollment is part of a plea bargain that will save him from being imprisoned, and it is also a last resort to rescue him from the LA gang life that has already claimed his beloved brother. An avid and remarkably gifted hip-hop dancer, DJ is quickly solicited by two fraternities who want to make use of his skills on their respective step teams. DJ resists at first, equating fraternities and stepping as stultifying, upper-class activities.
Eventually DJ warms to the underdog fraternity and, with his amazing krumping, clowning, and breaking, transforms the team. More importantly, the team transforms him, providing a creative outlet and a character-building support network that help cushion the blows life keeps dealing. While the drama incorporates many overly familiar themes and subplots, the main hook is the spectacular step dancing, shot in a dynamic, quick-cut style that emphasizes the muscularity, inventiveness, and stirring teamwork required. The final quotation from Dr. Martin Luther King drives home the film's message: "Intelligence plus character--that is the goal of true education."
Description by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment:
DJ (Columbus Short), an amazing underground street dancer, hasn't been in college for a day before he's entranced by a lovely co-ed, April (Meagan Good).Working as a gardener to pay the bills, DJ doesn't fit in with the wealthier students around campus, but one thing does catch his attention -- the rival fraternity competitions known as "stepping." With April's help, DJ learns about the legacy and heritage behind the fraternities and decides to join up. Now part of an official step group, DJ must balance rehearsals, work, and school, while at the same time winning the heart of the girl of his dreams. With the National Step Championship drawing closer, DJ must learn to stop dancing as an individual, and to start stepping as part of a team.
African American Culture |
African Americans |
Los Angeles, California |