Reviewer’s grade: C
It’s another retelling of the story about a poor kid trying to improve her life by rising in society through a good education, which is not a bad message. Raya Green (newcomer Rutina Wesley) wants to win a steppin’ contest so she can use her share of the prize money to pay for a private prep school. As she finds a crew to join, she has to combat the memory of her drug-addicted older sister’s death, the challenge of rival dance teams, and romantic complications.
Sure, you’ve seen movies like this dozens of times, but the younger audience hasn’t, and maybe some of them need to. Director Ian Iqbal Rashid keeps the story moving along and the dance numbers are pretty spectacular. You may not appreciate them as dance, but like me, you won’t be able to deny the athleticism they require. Annmarie Morais’ script is functional, but, like a folk tale, that’s all it has to be. PG-13