You Got Served

You Got Served


Reviewed by: David Stanners

Take 8 Mile, cut the swearing, switch the rapping for dancing and You Got Served. Got it? Probably not. Let me explain. In street lingo, "You got served" means, "You got screwed". Whether or not you feel that way, after spending a fiver on this, is up to you.

What we have here is the dumbed down kids version of 8 Mile, but instead of Eminem going hammer and tongues against his nemeses on stage, you have LA's best young dancers, pitting themselves against each other on the dance floor, in hot pursuit of a $50,000 prize and a record deal.

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David (Omarion) and Elgin (Marques Houston), or D and L as they say, are best mates, busy perfecting their latest break/hip hop dance routines before taking it to the stage in competition. When L's sister Liyah (Jennifer Freeman) takes a shine to D, their friendship nosedives. Between refereeing his sister and D's hormones, L does odd jobs for Emerald (Michael Taliferro), a big fat bloke who sits in a limo wearing lots of gold and making scary threats. One night, L gets beaten up while on an errand for Emerald, losing a stash of his money. Meanwhile, D is having it off with L's sister and when L finds out, while recovering in hospital, he ain't chuffed.

Going their separate ways, L and D enter The Big Bounce comp - the break dancing world's equivalent of Pop Idol - as a means of making $50,000 to clear debts and land a record deal. In between all this, are the usual formalities of black urban hip hop life: 1 on 1s down the local b-ball court, a drive by shooting and surplus cute female booty with names like Beautifull (Meagan Good), "with an elongated L."

There isn't really a great deal to this. The subject is fine, but handled with kid gloves. Appealing to a younger audience, with its PG rating, there is obviously a social message intended: stay off drugs, don't swear and, if you're good enough, you'll get there. The biggest let down is the script. And the acting. If both of these were smartened up, the film might not have been bad, because the dance sequences are outstanding. Featuring some of the most inventive and acrobatic break dancing I've ever seen, it's a shame that the other ingredients are left on the sidewalk with casualties of internecine urban warfare.

If you're into break dancing, then it may be worth it for the moves alone. If not, you may find "you got served!"

Reviewed on: 25 Jun 2004
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Two rival groups of black inner city kids from L.A thrash it out for the prize of best dance crew.
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Director: Chris Stokes

Writer: Chris Stokes

Starring: Omarion, Marques Houston, Jennifer Freeman, Meagan Good, Steve Harvey, Michael Taliferro, J-Boog, Lil' Fizz, Raz B, Marty Drew, Jerome Jones

Year: 2004

Runtime: 90 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US


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