Pop, Lock And Drop It: The Best And Worst Dance Flicks Of The 2000s
It’s about that time for the annual dance flick. It’s no surprise that Battle of The Year started the season of dance flicks last week (even though it flopped…), and it reminded us of the best and worst ones over the years. There’s romance, shirtless guys (hello there!) and of course, the mainstream will learn, overuse and over saturate yet another new or old dance craze. Bust a move and take a look at some of the best and most forgettable dance flicks of the 2000s.
Step Up (2006)
Step Up remains one of the most popular dance movie franchises in recent years. Starring the now married couple Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum, the two brought the best of contemporary and Hip-Hop moves to the silver screen. Some of the film’s sequels have done fair (Step Up 2) while others have been terrible (Step Up Revolution). With Step Up 5 currently in development, it looks like we’ll be ticking and bopping a little while longer.
Black Swan (2011)
We’ve seen films like Center Stage cover the cold, rough world of ballet, but Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan starring Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis portrayed it like no other. When the film grossed over $106 million dollars and earned Portman her first Academy Award, it was clear that her 20 pound weight loss and grueling training definitely paid off in her performance as a ballerina on the verge of an epic nervous breakdown.
After getting introduced to Krumping while directing Christina Aguilera’s video for “Dirrty” in 2003, famed photographer and director David LaChapelle filmed the documentary Rize in 2005. The film focused on Clowning and Krumping with creators Tight Eyez and Tommy The Clown. Krumping became a major dance craze during this time and lived on past the film in music videos by Madonna and Missy Elliott. The dancers also built very stable careers: Tight Eyez and Miss Prissy have shown their moves off in dance films and Lil C has been a judge on So Think You Can Dance.
Stomp The Yard (2007)
Stomp The Yard didn’t have the most original plot, but it did showcase stepping to the masses. A rebellious Columbus Short starred as DJ, who wins the girl (Meagan Good), joins a fraternity the easiest way possible, and wins the big stepping competition with the Thetas (repeat two times) while battling against The Gammas. The dancing was a pleasant mashup of breaking, krumping and stepping.
Save The Last Dance (2001)
Filmmakers love Hip-Hop don’t they? Save The Last Dance helped form the typical dance flick story line in the new millennium. Derek (Sean Patrick Thomas) helps Sara (Julia Stiles) get her groove back in time for her big ballet audition, with a couple of Hip-Hop moves of course. The film digs a little further than a couple of moves though and covers interracial relationships and gang violence. We also get a peak at a young Kerry Washington and learn the now infamous quote: “Hip Hop is more than a dance, it’s an attitude.” Isn’t it?
Bring It On (2000)
The teen flick covered the world of cheerleading loosely, but is still considered a cult classic among fans. We can’t forget about Blaque and Gabrielle Union’s funky dance moves, the spirit fingers, and the big cheerleading showdown at the end. Sequels followed with Hayden Panettiere and Solange Knowles. And while the sequel might have had better choreography, nothing beats the original comedic chemistry of Kirsten Dunst and Union.
Planet B-Boy (2007)
Not the most notable film on the list, but the award-winning documentary Planet B-Boy shows how far the art of breakdancing has come. Following five dancers from Germany, Korea, the United States, Japan and France, it changes your mind about how important dancing and the Hip-Hop culture is to the world. Towards the end of the film, the big dance competition is called Battle of The Year, which is what director Benson Lee based his next film, Battle of The Year (starring Chris Brown), on.
You Got Served (2004)
I will raise my hand and admit that I loved this movie for all the wrong reasons. As an overzealous B2K fan, I like many other teens made this corny movie the number one film in America the week it debuted in 2004. The dance moves were impressive, and both Columbus Short and Kevin Federline make respectful dance debuts, but with a generic story line and bad acting, it doesn’t hit the mark. This doesn’t mean I won’t watch it when it occasionally plays on USA or BET (hangs head in shame.)
Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004)
Named one of the worst sequels in Entertainment Weekly‘s Top 25 Worst Sequels Ever Made, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights didn’t match up to its classic predecessor. Not only that, but the main characters didn’t have the same chemistry, and the 1960 storyline set around the Cuban Revolution as the background didn’t come off romantic at all.
Honey 2 (2011)
A sequel to the funny and entertaining Honey from 2003 came way too late. Kat Graham shows off impressive dance moves, but it couldn’t carry the entire film. If you haven’t had the chance to check it out yet, just think about a choppy blend of America’s Best Dance Crew, You Got Served and any MTV teen movie, and you’ll have an idea of the film.
The UK film basically takes the premise of Step Up and flips it, shakes it, and creates a version that is pretty much a failure–to the average human being. You probably have never heard of it and will never see it, but it follows a Hip-Hop dance group who pairs with a ballet group to take on a popular team for a major dance competition. I can appreciate how dance makes people feel, but I can’t forgive the lackluster flips and dips they call dancing in this movie. But what do I know? Apparently the UK loved it so much, somebody made a sequel.
How She Move (2007)
Following the successful heels of Stomp The Yard, How She Move looked like it had what was needed to keep the big stepping movie craze going. Unfortunately, the film failed to do so. It could have been the weak plot (it plays on the lines of Save The Last Dance) or the fact that many of the dance moves were all done in popular films right before it. OR the fact that people didn’t know any of the actors in it at the time it was released. Whatever the reason, it was terrible.
Standing Ovation (2010)
Whoever decided to create this disaster of a movie needs to have several seats in detention. A film about kids battling each other just to create a music video? This non-Disney/Nickelodeon movie had no charm or laughs. It just looks like a very long K-Mart teen commercial twisted with a movie version of Rebecca Black’s “Friday” music video.
The second coming of Footloose was so bad that it lost its main characters right before filming. Gossip Girl’s Chace Crawford, and Zac Efron both dropped out (for the best) of playing Ren McCormack, while High School Musical director Kenny Ortega also dropped out because of creative differences. Audiences and critics were not only upset that the sequel wasn’t up to par with Kevin Bacon’s original, but it also tried to be a musical, making it hard to keep up with and pretty corny.
From Justin To Kelly (2003)
Remember that one Kelly Clarkson movie? No, not 40-Year-Old Virgin, but the musical headache that was From Justin To Kelly. It wasn’t the standard dance flick, but it did feature many, many horrible and basic step dances and cringe worthy grinding that makes you want to never turn your TV back on. We’re glad that Kelly has learned her lesson– have you ever seen her dance in any of her music videos? That’s what we thought…