Remember back in the day when “tough” generally described the people that could physically hurt you? Generally, this would be the bully that was bigger or the big group of kids that you feared because they had less to lose than you. The movie You Got Served doesn’t follow this pattern.
You Got Served is a about a bunch of people that exist in a world where dancing is equivalent to a weapon of violence, and dance crews battled in an ambiguously illegal dance warehouse led by Steve Harvey’s character. David and Elgin (played by Omarion and Marques Houston, respectively) are the leaders of a dance crew with a winning track record at their local street dancing competitions when Wade and his crew of rich kids from Ocean County challenge them. Elgin accepts the challenge, only to find out (just before the beginning of the competition) that a member of his crew has joined Wade’s crew and given away all of their moves. After losing, Elgin and David confront Wade, where Wade replies with the movie’s title line, “You’re just mad ’cause tonight, you suckas got served!”
This bothers me because:
- I think it wasn’t that they were served but that you stole a member of their team, learned all of their moves, took $5,000 from them, and then acted as though you were better dancers.
- Wade and his crew are talented dancers that act tough, but in reality, they were not threatening. I don’t know how no one threw a punch.
In the rest of the movie, a bunch of irrelevant bull shit happens (there’s another storyline that has something to do with drug dealing), a kid gets shot, Elgin and David fight, and they eventually battle Wade’s crew again and win.
Step Up 2: The Streets, on the other hand, seems to get it right. It’s also kind of the opposite of You Got Served. Instead of a bunch of impoverished minorities trying to gain respect by competing against a group of tough, rich white kids, it’s a bunch of un-tough kids at a fancy school trying to gain respect by competing against a group of tough, impoverished minorities. Andie (played by Briana Evigan) is really hot and fun to watch for an hour and a half. She goes through a bunch of crap, enrolls at a fancy school (Maryland School of Arts), gets kicked out of her street dance crew called 410, and starts her own with kids from MSA. They then spend the rest of the movie trying to gain respect and compete against her old dance crew. At one point, a bunch of guys from 410 assault one of the kids from MSA. Why is this good? Because 410 is perceived as tough because of the physical threat they pose and not their dance ability!
So how does this tie into Never Back Down? Simply, Never Back Down and Step Up 2: The Streets, are the SAME MOVIE. Here are their plots.
(Andie/Jake) is a very talented (dancer/fighter) who has been transferred to a new school due to (her/his) delinquent past. (She/he) often thinks about (her/his) deceased (mother/father) who got (her/him) into (dancing/fighting). At this new school, (Andie/Jake) end up competing in a big illegal (dance/fighting) competition that is so illegal that its location/date information is only distributed by text message just before the competition begins. Once the competition begins, something goes awry, so (Andy/Jake) does not end up competing for the title. So instead, they take the competition outside where they battle it out on their own. To accommodate this, members of the audience turn on their headlights and make space. (Andy/Jake) then wins. And despite doing lots of crazy shit on asphalt, nobody seems to be hurt.
Okay, so the two movies are somewhat similar, and Step Up 2 has several moments where its plot just doesn’t make sense or they dubiously recycle characters to move the plot along, but I actually really enjoyed both Never Back Down and Step Up 2 and may have to purchase them on BluRay now that I’m getting a BluRay player.
…on second thought, I don’t think I’ll be doing that. But I did really enjoy them.