Stomp The Yard

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Sylvain White

The ViewWellington Review

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Review byMatthew Turner14/03/2007

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 114 mins

The performances are good but the heavily cliched script ensures that there's very little of interest here, unless you're a massive stepping fan.

What's it all about?
DJ Williams (Columbus Short) is an LA street kid whose brother is killed after an LA dance battle turns violent (dangerous stuff, this dance battling lark). In order to keep him out of trouble, his mother sends him to Atlanta to live with his uncle and aunt (Harry J. Lennix and Valarie Pettiford), who manage to wangle him a scholarship to the prestigious, historically black Truth University.

When DJ shows off his dance moves at a local club he attracts the attention of two opposing fraternities who want him to help them win the national Stepping Championships (basically a combination of chanting, percussive rhythms and dance moves, with a bit of mime thrown in). DJ is initially hesitant but when it emerges that his rival for campus hottie April's (Meagan Good) affections is the lead dancer for the reigning stepping champions he throws in with the campus underdogs.

The Good
Short and Good make decent leads and there are likeable turns from Lennix (TV's 24) and Pettiford. However, the rest of the supporting cast struggle with underwritten roles and there's no wisecracking sidekick character to liven things up a bit.

The Bad
Aside from the po-faced seriousness of the whole thing, the film suffers because stepping (or indeed stomping) just isn't that exciting to watch and it's hard to tell a winning stepping move from an ordinary one, particularly during the climax. Similarly, the film often seems like a recruitment campaign for black fraternities, which will mean very little to UK audiences.

In addition, the occasionally ridiculous script is content to recycle tired cliches from other triumph of the underdog-type movies, without adding anything new or interesting.

Worth seeing?
The performances are decent enough but this is only really worth seeing if you're a hardcore stepping fan.

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Content updated: 26/02/2020 11:53

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