Get local news delivered straight to your phone
Support City Paper!
There’s a lot you have to forgive in You Got Served—starting with everything in between the battle scenes. Luckily, this street-dancing Bring It On is loaded with them, allowing you to quickly forget about such missteps as cheesy dialogue, an overobvious shot at the heartstrings, and even the two main characters’ slo-mo grooves in the night rain. You Got Served’s story, by first-time writer-director Chris Stokes, focuses on the crew headed by best friends Elgin (IMx’s Marques Houston) and David (B2K’s Omari Grandberry, aka Omarion). They easily win every local battle and are soon enough accepting a $5,000 challenge from an unknown crew, led by cocky white boy Wade (a perfectly sinister-looking Christopher Jones). When Wade & Co. show up with a routine that steals from and improves upon Elgin and David’s signature moves, well, the good guys get served, forcing Elgin to take on just one more job as a mule so he can pay back the money his grandmomma rather unbelievably lent him. And though David would normally help him out, he’s too busy getting busy with El’s sister, Liyah (Jennifer Freeman), who embodies the word “bourgie” by saying “Your boy is really tripping” without an apostrophe in earshot. The falling out that ensues may be a touch melodramatic—and its resolution predictable—but for all of its after-school-specialness, You Got Served is refreshingly wholesome, with characters who are realistically street-savvy without being thugs. (I’m looking at you, Honey.) And besides, these kids can bring it: The battle sequences are filmed without the usual creative edits, but the showcase moves are nonetheless jaw-droppingly athletic, enhanced by a soundtrack that eschews the beats of B2K during big scenes for heavier hitters such as DMX and Timbaland. It’s all terribly entertaining, even if You Got Served’s serious side sometimes leaves you nostalgic for Breakin’. —Tricia Olszewski