I have to admit, before I watched “Stomp the Yard” I was expecting the step version of “Bring It On,” chock-full of phrases like, “This isn’t a democracy. It’s a step-ocracy.”
Instead of the fifth installment of the played-out cheerleading movie fluke, “Stomp the Yard” delivered somewhat decent entertainment.
Between director Sylvain White’s unique camera angles and the extensive work done in the editing room, I found it hard to hate “Stomp the Yard” – regardless of the predictable plot.
The movie revolves around a central character, DJ (Columbus Short), who, following tragic circumstances, moves to a new town, is convinced to join a competition between two rival teams, falls for someone he can’t have, and struggles to define himself.
Sure, it may sound similar to the formulaic “Bring it On” plot we’ve all grown to hate, but that’s where the similarities end.
“Stomp the Yard” is more like “Save the Last Dance,” complete with train rides and nostalgic flashbacks depicting the loss of a loved one. In this film, DJ copes with the loss of his brother Duron (played by Chris Brown), which is the catalyst for him moving to a new town.
Ultimately, despite his motto, “I don’t step, man – I battle,” DJ decides to join Theta Nu Theta, the underdog fraternity to Mu Gamma, the seven-time step champions.
OK, it’s cheesy, but who cares? Where else are the phenomenal skills of dancers like Short, Brown, Ne-Yo and Darrin Henson showcased (aside from music videos)?
Does DJ get the girl? Does he learn the meaning of teamwork in time to help his team? Does Theta Nu Theta win the championship?
If you want to see how it ends – or how it begins, for that matter – skip the trip to the video store and celebrate Black History Month by watching it in the University Union (room 221) today from 7 to 9 p.m.
Black Student Union members will be performing a step dancing demo before the movie begins.