You Got Served is the 2000s version of dance films of the 1980s such as Breakin', Breakin 2, Flashdance, and Krush Groove, incorporating elements of 2000's Bring it On and mirrors the very recent 8 Mile and Honey. There is really nothing new, innovative, or fresh in this movie, except the soundtrack and dance routines. Writer and director Christopher B. Stokes seems to have created the movie by cutting and pasting from discarded scripts he rescued from the recycle bin.
The flick contains the perfunctory elements of these story types: It focuses on two seemingly inseparable best friends who share a common passion and goal -- willing to risk and lose everything in pursuit of a dream. Predictably, when that dream is shattered, so is the friendship and the ensuing conflict is the core of the film. There are the overly common subplots of one friend's falling for the other's younger sister, betrayal from within, money owed to a menacing crime boss, and the climatic battle which reunites the friends and vanquishes the bitter opposition—making everything righteous once again.
Set in Los Angeles, the story centers around two best friends Elgin (Marques Houston) and David (Omari Grandberry) who are brothers in every sense of the word, except by blood. The pair head a crew of urban street dancers who are the best in L.A. and win a weekly underground dance competition refereed by Mr. Rad (Steve Harvey). The two aspire to make a living using their talents and love of music, and hope to finance that dream by working at night making some secret deliveries for a shady patron (former footballer Michael "Bear" Taliferro). The friendship and the dance troupe are at the top of their game when two Orange County white kids (Christopher Jones & Robert Hoffman) challenge them for a huge cash bet of $5000 and the respect of the dance community. Looking and feeling unstoppable, the gang comes up with the cash and steps up to test; however it is David and Elgin's crew that gets served, on their own turf. They arragontly underestimated the abilities of the County Crew, never thinking that the Crew would steal their moves, or be good at dancing. They lose their status, respect, and money.
That's as far as I will go into the plot because, well, it's really not that interesting, and easily predictable. Further, the movie's strong point isn't the story or the acting. So much so, that I have to apply my porn-movie philosophy to this one: "Good action but too bad you have to sit through the acting and dialogue to get to it". Oh yeah, the acting...it's bad, and by bad, I mean I'd rather be raped by rabid goats than to have to watch these (ahem) actors awkwardly drone through the mediocre script. Compounding the problem, few of the principal characters had very little, if any, acting experience and barely seemed to take the acting seriously. They didn't get much help from the script, which does a lame job of stringing a series of excellent dance sequences with perfunctory discourse. Really, if it weren't for the dancing, I don't think this movie would be worthy of showing. My recommendation is that you rent the DVD so you can just fast forward to the dancing, and skip the torturous "acting".
What this movie is really about and does best, is showcase dancing—and the moves shown in You Got Served are off the fucking chain. The picture combines cutting edge pop n' lock moves of today with some updated "suicide" windmills and headspins from the 80s that make Turbo and Ozone and look like they were amateurs doing the Foxtrot.
One other thing that made You Got Served a little less than stellar was the heavy editing done on the dance sequences. Like Moulin Rouge the camera moves excessively and cuts in and out too often and too quickly. It causes a small loss of enjoyment because you are so busy keeping track of where you are, especially when each crew is having their turn dancing. It robs you of the benefit from watching things from your own perspective. Also, some of the sequences seem to be shot with a dancer-cam, since when the dancer lands, and the floor shakes, so do the camera and the picture.
However, where the stars failed in the acting department, they certainly compensate in the looks division. The movie is replete with hotties the lead characters, Houston, Omairon, and other members of B2K. Jennifer Freeman looks very lovely, as does Meagan Good who plays her best friend, aptly named Beautifull. Christopher Jones is hot as the blue eyed devil from Orange County and the girls who get down in his crew aren't too bad either. There are cameos by Lil' Kim, LaLa Vasquez, and Wade Robson.
This movie is for the most part fun to watch (when no one is talking). Speaking of which, the dialogue is heavy on Ebonics, so bring your Urban Dictionary.
Grade: A+ for dancing, C- for acting.
Notes: (Urban Dictionary) ~ to get served: To be completely owned or shown up by someone.
Czarina's Caustic Comment or Captious Compliment: Someone should serve the cast with some acting lessons.
You Got Czarina'd
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