Newest Review: ... their friendship. This causes tension within the dance crew as well as among family and friends. Can the team pull together to win the upc... more
This movie just got served!
You Got Served (DVD)
Member Name: Anti
You Got Served (DVD)
Advantages: Brilliant dancing, great soundtrack that fits the scenes well
Disadvantages: Poor acting from most of the cast, cliched script, plot threads left hanging
'You Got Served' is a dance film released in 2004. It's one of the more prominent dance battling films of the past decade along with the 'Step Up' series but like most films in this genre every other element of the film is sub-par. Even so, I find the film more of a guilty pleasure. It is in my family's DVD collection but we don't watch it very often unless you find it played on television.
Elgin (Marques Houston) and David (Omarion Granberry) are the leaders of a hip-hop dance crew that regularly win competitions in Mr. Rad's (Steve Harvey) warehouse, funding their training with their jobs transporting narcotics under a scary black drug lord. They are then challaneged by a crew led by Wade and Max from Orange County with $5000. Despite their best efforts in raising the money by the deadline, thanks to a traitor from their crew they unfortunately lose when the rival team steal all their dance moves.
To make matters worse, when David goes on a date with Elgin's sister Liyah (Jennifer Freeman) he leaves El to do a drug delivery in a dangerous area by himself. He is attacked and gets his leg broken in the process. El is angry at David for leaving him for his sister and breaks their friendship. This causes tension within the dance crew as well as among family and friends. Can the team pull together to win the upcoming dance competition for $50000 and Lil'Kim's new video, or will Wade's crew beat them yet again?
The two things that hold up this movie are the dancing and soundtrack. The entirety of the street dancing is flawless and combines a variety of moves including group's flips, typical body-popping and locking and some awesome head-spinning (one guy spins on his head for almost a minute- incredible!). My favourite moves are during the second dance battle where the guys lie on the floor with their knees raised out while the female crew members stand over the guys, pull their hoodies over the knees and move their bodies with the legs, so that it looks like small people dancing! My description probably doesn't explain that really well, but it's something you really have to see.
The music consists of either R&B or HipHop, the latter being used for the dance scenes. If you're not into this type of music then it is best not to watch the movie as this is obviously crucial the dancing. For me many of the tracks fit perfectly, getting me pumped up like the battling dance crews.
However, the story is clichéd and poor. You can guess what happens at the end of the film no matter how much they pad out the broken friendship. There are also many plot threads either ignored or solved rather conveniently offscreen. For example, the dance crew's traitor joins Wade's crew but he is never dealt with after the loss and nor do we see him again in the film. I really wanted this character's comeuppance, since it otherwise makes most of the first part of the movie completely pointless. Some scenes don't have the emotional impact they should, such as the death of a supporting character offscreen is explained like this: "He was riding out with Lanky and Bug when some dude sprayed the car!" I always find that line unintentionally hilarious.
The acting is also poor from many of the performers here, mostly because director Christopher B. Stokes puts the members of R&B boyband B2K and other street dancers front and center (this includes Omarion) and primarily they are singers and dancers, not actors. Marques Houston, the person with the most acting experience of the main dance crew, perhaps does the best job throughout especially since Elgin becomes a bit of a douche after his assault- he portrays his moody, angry demeanour well, but then again his character is the least flat. Omarion as David does an okay job but he's quite poor during the non-dancing scenes. I think he had some good chemistry with Houston as a brother (the two being almost like brothers in real life) and less so Freeman as a boyfriend. Speaking of Jennifer Freeman, I found her very dull as the love interest Liyah, who as a character has no defining qualities other than being stuck in the middle between the two leads.
The rest of the cast have not much going for them either. The exceptions are comedian Steve Harvey is the team's mentor Mr. Rad, although his lessons for the characters are obvious and he isn't funny here, and the woman who played Elgin's grandmother. "Big Ma" is only in the film for about three scenes but she knocks sense into Elgin and provides him with much needed support. Otherwise it's terrible performances all round from the supporting cast.
Overall this movie is only really worth watching for the great dancing so you're better off renting it rather than buying it. If you do want to buy it can be found on Amazon for £3.49 which isn't bad at all. I stand by it being a guilty pleasure despite the two stars but then again I know what I'm watching it for, plus sometimes the cringeworthy dialogue is fun to listen to!
(Also found on Ciao under the username Anti_W)
Summary: If you come for the movie, just stay for the dancing