"You Got Served: Beat the World" is a terrible motion picture, but you probably already knew that. The original "You Got Served," released in 2004, was also a terrible motion picture, but at least it made the attempt to tell something of a story between blasts of street dance and hip-hop humiliation. "Beat the World" is a lazy movie, with only a faint hint of conflict dusted over repetitive and illogical dance sequences. It's a bore from start to finish. Again, you probably already knew that.
The "Beat the World" dance competition has landed in Detroit, branding the champions as the kings and queens of street dance for the calendar year. On the hunt for the prize are dance crews from America, led by Yuson (Tyrone Brown), Berlin, and Brazil, who've come armed with their finest, freshest moves. As the tension rises in Detroit clubs and rooftops, the gangs have to sort out their own internal strife before the competition begins, with Yuson urgently trying to settle a break-up with girlfriend Maya (Mishael Morgan) before his crew debuts their latest dance angle: mixing parkour with hip-hop.
Some might argue that drama comes second in a film like "Beat the World." After all, it's a dance movie first and foremost, arranged to display blistering choreography, not challenging screenwriting and searing performances. However, I wonder what would be the harm in a genuinely surprising production that takes special care with character development and passionate interaction, keeping the viewer interested in these dreamers before they hit the stage to prove their worth. Writer/director Robert Adetuyi has no such ambition. He's just punching a clock here, submitting the least amount of work when the dance efforts take a smoke break.
The plot is pure "Saved by the Bell," following Yuson as he builds his crew with special parkour moves (a sport of running and the acquisition of distance, but never mind that) while dealing with Maya, an intelligent young woman looking to the west coast for college. They have sex, he ignores her needs, they break up, and Yuson immediately leans over to Cherry (Nikki Grant), a member of the crew who's interested in helping the conflicted dancer get over the dissolution of his relationship. What a hero. Of course, Yuson wants Maya back, using the competition as a way to prove himself worthy, while also confronting the boastful leader of the German team. And that's pretty much it for plot in "Beat the World," which doesn't strain too hard to summon substance, getting by with formulaic mush that's unenthusiastically resolved.
The anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1 aspect ratio) presentation is suitable for this type of low-budget motion picture. The emphasis on color is pleasing, with lush blues and reds sustaining screen energy. Skintones also look in order. Black levels are solid, if unremarkable, losing intensity when the action moves to dimly lit clubs.
The 5.1 Dolby Digital sound mix is heavy with soundtrack cuts, making a forceful entrance, with a hearty low-end to bring some powerful beats to the listening experience. Dialogue exchanges are a little crowded by the music but all expositional needs are met, also sorting out accents. Atmospherics are satisfactory with outdoor encounters, while some of the parkour moves bring about directional activity.
English, English SDH, and Spanish Subtitles are offered.
"Making Of" (8:21) is a standard routine of promotion, with the cast and crew chatting up the choreography challenges and preparation, while padding out the run time with extended film clips. There's minimal BTS footage to savor here.
"3Run: The Team Behind the Film" (6:59) chats up the parkour effort, covering the history and philosophy of the squad in charge of the film's flips.
A Trailer has not been included.
The dance sequences are predictably wiggly, though Adetuyi doesn't possess much of an eye for choreography. The editing is chaotic, shots are quite random, and there's never a buildup of energy to help the footwork explode across the screen. Considering how many montages and performance scenes are stuffed in "Beat the World," it's stunning to find the film so completely lifeless and cross-eyed. Perhaps effort shouldn't be expected with a low-budget cash-in like this, but a pulse would've been nice.
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