You Got Served (2004) [Review]

94 min January 30, 2004 |

Plot: David (Grandberry) and Elgin (Houston) have a successful dance crew on the streets. But, when they lose big to another crew, things start going downhill. As their friendship deteriorates, a dance competition, The Big Bounce, looms that could put them on the map (and in a Lil’ Kim music video).

Reviewed

We saw previews for You Got Served a couple of months back. What with all the dance sequences being showcased in the preview, the first thought that popped into my head was that they had done a remake of that classic 80’s film, Breakin’.

I wasn’t too interested, since I still haven’t seen the original yet (hopefully soon), so wasn’t yet ready for a remake. But, as I heard more about You Got Served, it seemed as if they had updated that film, not done a remake. It’s got the same dance sequence theme, but it seemed to be it’s own movie.

Of course, I was still thinking it was just a flash in the pan movie – you know, one of those flicks that sticks around in the theater for a day, and then goes straight to video (where it should have been released in the first place). But, when You Got Served stuck around in theaters for awhile, I knew I was going to have to check it out when it got to DVD.

So, was You Got Served worth the time to watch, or is it’s popularity the 2004 equivalent of Spider-Man (2002) (you know – everybody went, but it sucked)?

The actors all did decent jobs. They all seemed raw in You Got Served, and all needed a little bit of work, but with practice, it seems as if they could turn into stars. Since the average viewer won’t have heard of any of them yet, it’s a good time for them to start working on their acting skills if they plan to make it a career. This film was a good first effort for them, since the rawness of their acting translated well with the whole feel of the film, but they are definitely going to have to keep working to make it in other films.

The plot has pretty much been done before, although a bit campier (can anyone say Bring It On (2000)?), but still manages to bring it’s own unique flavor into the mix. It’s too bad that You Got Served is so similar to a certain cheerleader movie of recent years: they are on a crew (squad) trying to make the big time (The Big Bounce / National Cheerleading Competition), one of the leads likes the other’s sibling (and the sibling doesn’t approve), and problems arise that may prevent the crew/squad from winning the competition.

You Got Served does change what they are doing (street dancing instead of cheerleading), and what problems the main characters face, but more importantly, You Got Served changes the whole feel of the film. While Spider-Man (2002) is almost a celebration of campiness, this film tries to keep a raw edge to it, and plays the whole story out in a rougher vein. It works well (especially with the unseasoned actors) and definitely sets it apart from that other film.

The dancing (the other main character in the film, basically) is well done. Some of the moves these people are able to do are just amazing to watch. While the dancers are very impressive, the camera movement during these scenes is a bit shoddy. It’s hard to distinguish occasionally which crew some of the members are in, which detracts from the viewer’s appreciation – since we don’t know whether to root for them or boo them.

Also, I think You Got Served would have been better served (no pun intended) to have a camera closer to the floor for some of the shots. It would have made some of the moves look even more impressive, and would have brought the audience that much more into the film. That’s not too say all the camera work is bad though. I especially like the way the camera shakes occasionally when somebody lands – it’s a nice touch I haven’t seen used since Godzilla (1998).

Even with it’s unseasoned actors and sometimes shoddy camera work (not to mention obvious comparisons to Bring It On (2000)), the movie works well overall. It’s not perfect, but it’s a fun way to entertain yourself for a couple of hours.

Go check it out today…and see if you’ll be thinking You Got Served. Here’s betting that you’ll like it more than you think you will.

    You Got Served (2004) has a running time of 1 hr 34 mins and is rated for thematic elements and sexual references. Want to learn more? Visit .

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DVD Features

  • Widescreen
  • Animated Menus
  • Scene Access
  • Feature-Length Audio Dance Commentary
  • Feature-Length Director and Cast Commentary
  • "Making of" Featurette
  • "Dance Breakdown"
  • 5 Camera Angles for first Dance Sequence with Optional Introduction by Producer Billy Pollina
  • "Battle of the Beat" Dance Montage
  • "Badaboom" Music Video by B2K feat. Fabolous

About

An ex-Floridian, ex-Baltimorian now living in Arizona, Reid wants to get into a career that involves web-design, but for now enjoys working on critiQal in his spare time.


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