out of Five
Running time: 92
Disappointing dance drama that suffers from a badly scripted plot, dull performances and poorly choreographed dance routines.
What's it all about?
Rutina Wesley stars as Raya, a young teenager whose sister has just died of a drug overdose, leading her over-protective parents (Melanie Nicholls-King and Conrad Coates) to pin all their hopes on her academic career. However, Raya also has a deep-seated need to dance, so she joins a step crew in her crime-ridden neighbourhood without telling her parents.
However, her parents are the least of Raya's problems – as well as falling out with her best friend (Tre Armstrong), she also defects to a rival step team, just as the big dance competition gets underway.
Depending on how you look at it, How She Move is either lucky or unlucky to be released at the same time as Step Up 2 The Streets: on the one hand, Step Up 2 is currently topping the UK box office charts, suggesting there's an appetite for this sort of thing. However, on the other, How She Move suffers badly from the comparison and will test even the biggest step fan's hunger for step-based entertainment.
These types of film always follow the same basic plot, so the presence of a cliched script is practically a given – the question is whether the film assembles its collection of clichés in an engaging manner. Sadly, How She Move doesn't really manage it – the script is tedious, the dialogue is flat, the characters are under-developed and Rutina Wesley gives a withdrawn performance that lacks the charisma the role requires.
However, the biggest problem is that the dance scenes themselves are poorly choreographed and frequently repetitive – by contrast, at least Step Up 2 The Streets manages to do something new and exciting with its dance finale.
In short, there's no point in seeing this while Step Up 2 The Streets is still on general release. Indeed, seeing Step Up 2 for a second time would still be more fun than seeing How She Move. Avoid.