Stomp the Yard (12A) <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

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The Independent Culture

The title refers to the terpsichorean ritual of "stepping" - an odd mélange of tap, hip-hop, vogueing and fancy dress - which has become a fiercely contested championship among the well-to-do fraternities of Truth University, Atlanta. Into their midst comes DJ (Columbus Short), a Los Angeles dancer trailing a criminal record, a surly attitude and a bunch of street moves to wow his more privileged brothers. But can he adapt his rampant individualism to the needs of the team? The athleticism on display is remarkable: the drama is anything but. We are supposed to worry for DJ as he falls in love with the principal's daughter and faces up to the sins of his juvenile past, but the follow-your-dream script looks cumbersome and predictable next to the acrobatic hoofing, and there's not even Jessica Alba to take your mind off the tedium.

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