Skip to content

John’s Movie Reviews: You Got Served, Beat the World

July 10, 2011

Hello all. Mark here. I got a quick note for you.  I’ve never watched any of the latest dance films all the way through.  I did fast forward through Step Up 3 on Netflix to watch this scene though. Great stuff!

Enjoy John’s review. Cherish the bad acting and bad dancing. Hope Dolph Lundgren stars in Step Up 4.


You Got Served: Beat the World

 By John Leavengood

                       MY CALL:  The best part of this movie is the scathing review I get to write about it.  The attempts at drama were palpable—as in they left a taste in my mouth like a Hell-scorched Hot Pocket!  Now that I’ve seen the kind of dancing that wins world competitions I’m calling up Seth Rogan, Jonah Hill and Jay Baruchel—I think we’ve got a shot at the title!!!  I give this movie two pirouettes in the keester.  Just to clarify, that means an “F”.  WHAT TO WATCH INSTEAD:  The far technically superior You Got Served, any of the Step Up series.  But be warned, the plots and writing are almost unnoticeably better.


            It’s the same old story.  Some dude living in midtown Detroit flipping crates on the night shift has the reasonable dream of helping Jay-Z make music videos.  Now just how does that usually work out?  I’m guessing less than stellar.  The intended twist that would make this movie stand out among other dance flicks is the incorporation of parkour (aka, free-running) into hip-hop.  Like some Brit who looks like a juiced up Elijah Wood is going to teach a bunch of slam dancers how to free-run in about two days—plausible?  The real way that this movie stands out is that it’s the least impressive dance flick I’ve ever seen.  And folks, I love me some dance flicks.  Like, way love them—as in I have a secret dream of being in a dance crew “love them”.  Yet this one just caused me pain.

            So I told you about the Detroit crew leader, on to the rest of “the world”.  In Berlin there’s a crew led by some unimposing white guy who looks like James McAvoy and Stuart Townsend had a love child.  Just so we’re clear Stuart Townsend played vampire Lestat in Queen of the Damned.  There’s some gambling-addicted Brazilian guy with no personality whatsoever.  Then there’s a bunch of other crews that all look like they hail from Detroit, too.  To make the story more “real” or whatever all three of these leaders repetitively let their crews down with all the guidance of a drunk lemming in need of directions to the way-serious dance competition where the winning team krumps away with $100K.

            The screenwriting was destitute at best.  Here’s a big red flag: there are references to “stepping up” but none to “getting served”.  Maybe the writers thought this was Step Up 4.  Oh, but there were plenty of other reasonable lines to make up for it like:

1)  “We’re the best, we can’t lose!”

2)  “I didn’t graduate valedictorian like you.  Hip-hop’s my only way there.”

3)  “You know dancing is our only way out.”

4)  “I hope you’re ready to get your ass kicked again.” 

5)  [and in response:] “Man, I can’t wait to kick his ass!”

            Yep.  That’s how twenty-somethings talk.  But it’s not just the quippy repartees, the writing consistently sucked throughout the script.

            I guess I should address the dancing.  So remember the cool moves from the solo scenes in Step Up and the cool group practice sessions in You Got Served—yeah, they all sucked in this movie.  Oh, and weren’t the routines in the competitions in both of those movies like wicked-holy-shit, “did that just happen” F@#$ing awesome?  Yeah, not so much in this movie.

            But what about the dance competition at the end?  That’s gotta’ have some serious acts right?  Swing and a miss!  These scenes felt akin to watching 100 kids from Detroit and some exchange students from Rio and Berlin doing an urban Macarena in Hip Hop for Beginners—that’s right next to Six Minute Abs at the DVD store.  The choreography appeared cardiovascularly unchallenging.  So much, in fact, that I’ve seen chubby Asians more attentive to technical effort while sweating to Dance Dance Revolution!  And why oh why is Lil C (judge and choreographer on SYTYCD) in the cast!?!  I hope he’s not responsible for this choreography.  He’d be out of a job unless the sequel machine farted out a successor to this miserable waste of film.

            Let’s skip to the end.  The protagonist’s crew wins against “the world”.  However, I doubt they could even hold their own at a middle school talent show.  Scott Pilgrim faced a way tougher the World than this crew, and all he walked away with was some raggedy-haired chick and the same one-room apartment.  The lesson?  Don’t know, don’t care…and don’t watch this movie.

            Now how many Aspirin should I chase with vodka to forget that this movie ever happened?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Krump Krump permalink
    November 29, 1999 8:00 pm

    This movie was the worst thing to happen to Detroit since the collapse of the automobile industry.

  2. VJ Long permalink
    July 10, 2011 3:30 pm

    Classic Review! I must admit i watched this movie…by myself. it was late, i was lonely, pictures of Mark Hoffmeyer wearing dance gear were scattered about my apartment. it just felt like the right thing to do. Just wanted to say great review! John, you were right, the best part of this movie was the review you got to write.

    • johnleavengood permalink
      December 6, 2012 5:26 pm

      Just watched Step Up: Revolution and thought of you, VJ. Watch Step Up Revolution and see dance crew movies redeemed!


  1. Freerunner (2011) « Movies, Films & Flix
  2. Step Up 4: Revolution (2012) « Movies, Films & Flix

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: