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  You Got Served You Dancin'?Buy this film here.
Year: 2004
Director: Christopher B. Stokes
Stars: Omarion Grandberry, Marques Houston, Jennifer Freeman, J-Boog, Lil' Fizz, Raz B, Marty Dew, Jerome Jones, Tanee McCall-Short, Amanda Rodriguez, Malcolm David Kelley, Meagan Good, Steve Harvey, Christopher Jones, Robert Hoffman, Esther Scott, Lil' Kim
Genre: Musical, Drama
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: David (Omarion Grandberry) and Elgin (Marques Houston) are part of a crew which does especially well in dance competitions, as they have done tonight, seeing off their rivals with ease. The crowd decides who gets the money in the hat, and David and Elgin are usually satisfied, but they never make enough to make ends meet, and so are both working as delivery boys for the local Mr Big, Emerald (Michael Taliferro). Elgin's sister Liyah (Jennifer Freeman) is studying in college and working at the hospital to raise funds for her place at university, but money is still tight; now, however, she is interested in getting to know David a little better as the morning after the latest competition he has been staying over at Elgin's house. Yet this relationship will jeopardise the two friends' comradeship, and threaten to split up their crew...

You Got Served was designed by its writer and director Christopher B. Stokes as a feature length promotional video cum tribute of sorts to the enduring popularity of those two eighties cult movies, Breakin' and Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo, where some impressive dancing skills would be exhibited. But this film had a misguided sense of its own importance which made it less fun than its predecessors. On the other hand, it was not bad enough to warrant the tag of being one of the worst films ever made, which is exactly what happened soon after its release. In fact, it took pride of place at the very bottom of the Internet Movie Database's Bottom 100 chart, voted on by people who presumably could not hope to dance half as well as the cast of this.

Yet while the musical numbers are undeniably electrifiying, it's the bits in between that let the film down. But that's not to say they're a chore to sit through, sure the acting isn't the best, but it's adequate for such a run of the mill storyline, and there are few dancers who can perform equally as well in both the terpsichorean field and the thespian one. It's just that You Got Served should have been more breezy to capture the spirit of what they were emulating, and gets bogged down in the rivalry between David and Elgin, even though they have a common enemy and it would have been far more enjoyable to see them team up as they do for the first third of the whole of the plot.

The reason they fall out is over a woman, yes, that old chestnut, in that when Elgin calls David to help him make a delivery, David is too busy romancing Liyah to answer (actually, she turns his phone off) and Elgin ends up beaten up and his goods stolen. This doesn't go down well with the boss, and Elgin blames David for the whole palaver, demanding that he stop seeing his sister while he recuperates. It doesn't help that their crew has earlier lost a dance battle against some obnoxious rich kids who stole their moves (how they did that is unclear), leaving them five thousand dollars out of pocket. Can David and Elgin patch up their differences and reunite in time for the biggest competition of their lives, with the prize of fifty thousand dollars and roles in Lil' Kim's new video at stake? Well, what do you think? Nowhere near as bad as its reputation, You Got Served is pretty mundane dramatically, with a totally unnecessary death of a minor character bringing it down, but the enterprise really comes alive during those dance sequences. Music by Tyler Bates.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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