Dance battle movies — “Step Up” and its ilk — have become the musicals of their generation. They may be formulaic in the extreme, generic in their romances and be peopled by character “types.” But they’re athletic extravaganzas celebrating great skill.
They wear the veneer of “street” and “edgy,” but parents appreciate how harmless they are.
“Battle of the Year” touches on that, how the rest of the world has embraced the culture, but how they’re no longer perceived as “cool” in the United States.
The beauty of “Step Up” and all its tired imitators is that the audience has no idea that there have been 20 or 30 movies exactly like this one that came before it.
— Roger Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service