By KC IFEANYI
Just by watching the trailers, one would think this movie
was destined to be nothing but flashy step moves, hip-hop music and no
For those who thought that, two out of three ain’t bad.
“Stomp the Yard,” directed by Sylvain White, serves it up
with dynamic dancing, music from artists including UNK and E-40 and most of
all, a surprisingly touching plot.
“Stomp the Yard” follows the life of DJ Williams
(Columbus Short), a talented street dancer from Los Angeles who has good
intentions but just cannot seem to leave the hood behind.
The audience is immediately thrown into an underground
dance competition where DJ’s crew obviously has a rivaling team. After DJ’s
brother, Duron (Chris Brown),
shuts down the competition with an impressive solo performance ending in a
crowd-pleasing headstand, the bad blood bubbles over in a brawl outside the
After a few punches are exchanged, things get serious in
a hurry when someone shoots and kills Duron. Time
elapses showing DJ going to jail for aggravated assault and then traveling to
Atlanta to live with his aunt and uncle.
While in Atlanta, DJ attends the fictional, historically
black school, Truth University.
Guilt ridden and feeling as though he does not belong, DJ
struggles to find his place at Truth. That is, until the sight of April (Meagan
Good) takes his mind off his troubles momentarily.
After showing off his skills in a nightclub, DJ
inadvertently catches the attention of the leaders of the two fictional
rivaling fraternities at Truth, Theta Nu Theta and
Omega Nu Psi.
Without giving too much away, DJ decides to pledge one of
the fraternities and introduces his style of street dancing to their
Everything comes to a head at the end of the movie when
the two competing fraternities make it to the final round of the National Step
Show Competition and battle for the title.
“Stomp the Yard” was definitely a surprise hit in my
opinion. I was especially impressed by not only the dancing, but the acting skills
of R&B artists Chris Brown and Ne-Yo.
The only criticism I have of this movie is the fact that
the storyline about Duron’s murder is overshadowed by
the romantic subplot. Albeit cute and flirtatious, I think the movie briefly
loses its focus by placing the spotlight on the love triangle between April, DJ
and April’s boyfriend, Grant (Darrin Dewitt Henson).
Even though “Stomp the Yard” caught some flak from the
real fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha for using their name and colors in a few scenes
that were later removed, audience members, Greek or not, should enjoy this
highly entertaining and energetic movie.