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Stomp the Yard

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2007 1 Jan
Stomp the Yard
from Film Forum, 01/18/07

It's been, what, a month since the last flashy movie about troubled young people who know how to dance?

Here comes Stomp the Yard, which starts with a dance showdown that leads straight into bloodshed. Then, our hip-hop hero starts a new life in a new school, where he has to find a way to fit in. In the end, the film's dance sequences draw us in for a story about injustice and struggle.

But is the story worth it? Is the dancing?

David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) says, "[T]he athleticism of the choreography and Short's charisma energize a flimsy and formulaic script."

Bob Hoose (Plugged In) was surprised by the film. "Yes, Stomp is a little cliché d and stiff with a fairly predictable story that includes a violent murder, a number of cleavage-baring outfits and implied sex. But along with that, it proves itself to be one of those films that attempts to show black teens as more than Hollywood-stereotypical gangstas or hoopsters. … [T]he movie shows us kids who have goals in life."

Kathy Bledsoe (Past the Popcorn) says, "Even though this film may not win any awards, it will provide a lot of opportunity to connect with youth and discuss the kinds of choices and decisions children are being forced to make these days—even in the presumed 'safe' haven of Middle America. I encourage my fellow 'white folk' in particular to 'step' out of themselves and see this movie!"

Mainstream critics aren't quite so sure the film has much worth considering, calling it "uninspired storytelling" and "a flabby mess."

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