Urban dance hips-hops across the 8 Mile mark in You Got Served, a ghetto epic about a pair of street kids - Elgin (Marques Houston) and David (Omari Granberry) - who lead their dance crew in competition against some rival homies. Anyone old enough to remember Break Dance: The Movie (1984) may feel a glimmer of misty-eyed nostalgia, while those young enough not to care about the dire dialogue, lousy script, and pantomime villains may get a kick out of the thrilling dance routines.
Make no mistake, this is a truly terrible film. The director can't direct. He can't write either. And the actors can't act. But, boy, can they dance. If You Got Served was chopped down into a five-minute music video, you'd be begging for more. Armed with a chest-pounding soundtrack comprised of nothing but thudding bass, and some of the most audacious dance routines ever to hit the screen, the footwork is incredible.
As the dancers strut their stuff, facing off against each other in improvised battles of rhythm, timing and choreography, it's hard not to be impressed by their gravity-defying acrobatics and outrageous, in-yer-face attitude. It's like the verbal rap battles of Eminem's 8 Mile turned into muscular displays of sweaty swagger and ligament-tearing body popping.
"THEY DANCE THE DANCE, BUT CAN'T TALK THE TALK"
Problem is, You Got Served is considerably longer than a music video. Ninety minutes longer, in fact. And once it falls off the dance mat, the hoofin' gives way to plodding plotting as drug deals, broken friendships, and all manner of bust-ups queue up for some feelgood third act redemption. Worse still, music stars turned actors Marques Houston (from hip-hop group IMx) and "Omarion" Grandberry (who's accompanied by fellow members of his R&B band B2K) couldn't act their way out of a pair of unlaced Adidas trainers. Every time the music stops, this street party grinds to a halt: the guys can dance the dance, but they sure can't talk the talk.