What is the difference between a gang and a team? DJ Williams (Columbus Short) is forced to confront this question, along with the usual post-adolescent romantic and family conflicts, when his well-meaning uncle (Harry Lennix) enrolls him at his Atlanta alma mater, Truth University. His enrollment is part of a plea bargain that will save him from being imprisoned, and it is also a last resort to rescue him from the LA gang life that has already claimed his beloved brother. An avid and remarkably gifted hip-hop dancer, DJ is quickly solicited by two fraternities who want to make use of his skills on their respective step teams. DJ resists at first, equating fraternities and stepping as stultifying, upper-class activities. Eventually DJ warms to the underdog fraternity and, with his amazing krumping, clowning, and breaking, transforms the team. More importantly, the team transforms him, providing a creative outlet and a character-building support network that help cushion the blows life keeps dealing. While the drama incorporates many overly familiar themes and subplots, the main hook is the spectacular step dancing, shot in a dynamic, quick-cut style that emphasizes the muscularity, inventiveness, and stirring teamwork required. The final quotation from Dr. Martin Luther King drives home the film's message: "Intelligence plus character--that is the goal of true education."
- Edition: Widescreen
- Number of Discs: 1
- Rating: PG-13 (MPAA)
- Film Country: USA
- UPC: 043396160422
3 stars out of 5 -- "[The film] benefits from the high-energy dance moves, which add a vital pulse..."
Total Film - James White (04/01/2007)
3 stars out of 5 -- "[With] strong performances and a discreetly inspiring message....The humor and talent of its cast keep the popcorn enjoyment high."
Empire - Kat Brown (09/01/2007)