This British movie provides a high-energy tale of dance, ambition and romance, avoiding the usual grime-and-gloom (or gangsters) that UK films seem to specialise in. However, they saw fit to try to film it in old fashioned 3D, which is diabolically bad. My review ignores the 3D disk you get, because it's little better than a tea coaster, and concentrates on the 2D.
Carly is the sassy girl in Britain's second best street dance crew, led by her boyfriend Jay. The best are "The Surge" (played by genuine group Flawless; Diversity also appear at one point). They hope to take top spot at the upcoming finals, but Jay announces he's leaving for "a break". Carly tries to carry on, but starts to make a mess of it, losing rehearsal space and half her crew. At this point she meets ballet teacher Helena (played by veteran actress Charlotte Rampling), who offers her a deal: free rehearsal space, provided she takes on five of her milksop ballet students and shows them the passion of streetdance.
From there you have a by-the-numbers tale of the two sides not getting on, then slowly accepting each other, some personal romance and betrayal, and finally the big showdown at the finals. The fact is that the plot is decent but not great - but that's not the strength of the film. It's real brilliance is the dancing, and luckily there's plenty of it. I have very little time for urban music and/or dance, but I was impressed by the high octane dance sequences. There's a stand-out sequence with Carly's new crew confronting The Surge in a club dance-fight, and the final show where their street/ballet fusion has to win over a hostile crowd is spectacular.
A word on the PG certificate: there are two "morning after" scenes where it's clear to an adult that Carly and Jay have been sleeping together, with Carly in underwear etc, but nothing explicit; and also a few particularly British swearwords (milder than F- or S-), so it might not be suitable for younger children.
This film has been enjoyed by several pre-teen girls, who loved the dancing, and liked the romance plot. For adults, it probably won't bear repeated viewing, but I've seen it 2.5 times by now and I've not got totally fed up yet, which is praise indeed by my standards.