Channing Tatum is game for a challenge, whether starring in a film that requires serious dancing, or tackling a multi-city press tour. When I talked to him on July 21, 2005, his boyhood on the bayou seemed like a fun place to start before moving on to the dangers (to him) of dancing with a car, and the dangers (to co-star Jenna Dewan) of doing take after take of lifting your dance partner.
STEP UP is a surprisingly wholesome bit of fluff with an amiably charismatic cast and a script that should be cited for violating the basic tenets of solid scriptwriting. Uneven, undecided, and rife with everything except aliens from space and a natural disaster, it’s further hobbled by cliches, bouts of stale dialogue, inadvisable turns into ham-handed melodrama, and ho-hum predictability. Fortunately, it’s also rife with some of the best dance sequences put on film in a long time, and a director, former dancer Anne Fletcher, who knows how to capture not just the excitement of dance, but also the sheer ecstatic joy of it.