About Features Reviews Community Screenings Archives Home
February 2004

You Got Served
Distributor: Screen Gems (Sony Pictures)
Directed by: Christopher B. Stokes
Producers: Marcus Morton, Cassius Vernon Westhersby, & Billy Pollina
Screenwriter: Christopher B. Stokes
Cast: Marques Houston, Omari Grandberry, Jarell Houston, DeMario Thornton, Dreux Frederic, Jennifer Freeman, Lil' Kim, Meagan Good, & Steve Harvey

In the words of Steve Harvey, who plays Mr.Rad, the umpire/ judge of the local dance contests in his club in "You Got Served", "This is a dance movie, pure and simple." In a nut shell, he's right. While writer-director Chris Stokes wants to say that there's more to this film than the dance moves and that there's a story here, it's ultimately the dance scenes that carry this film. When the lead actors are members of the recently disbanded music group B2K and Marques Houston (formerly of IMx aka Immature), you should have an idea of what to expect. While the acting and the plot of the film isn't worth exploring, it's the dance scenes and the music that makes the film worth seeing.

Elgin (Houston) and David (Grandberry of B2K) are best friends. They dance together, hustle together, and watch each other's back when needed. Neither one of them likes to hustle, but when extra money is needed, they go out and do their thing, carrying bags of unidentified objects. They also have the best dance crew in town, always winning at local spots or in the streets. When they get challenged by another crew for $5000, they think they have it made because who could beat them? Within 10 minutes of the competition and with some unforeseeable events, Elgin, David, and their crew lose because as one member of the winning team would say, "You Got Served". Losing all that money is one thing, but to lose in front of their peers is another and Elgin can't handle it. At the same time, tension is growing between him and David as David is starting to see his younger sister, Liyah (Freeman). When David fails to meet up with Elgin on a hustle run because he's on a date with his sister, Elgin gets mugged and beat up. Not only is he pissed because his leg is broken and can't dance, he ends his friendship with David and forbids Liyah from seeing him. When a street-dance contest offers $50,000 to the winner, both David and Elgin feel they win back the money they lost and pay back their so-called drug dealer. There's no telling if their friendship will be repaired.

You have to go into this film with suspended disbelief to appreciate what Stokes was trying to bring to you. On one hand, he wants to give you some fantastic dance sequences that hasn't been displayed on the big screen since "Breakin" came out years ago, and they work. After all, Stokes is also a video music director and knows how to shoot a scene well. On the other hand, he wants you to feel some emotion for the characters by writing convoluted subplots that have no plausible endings. At one point or another, I thought was watching a scene from "Rocky" if not "Flashdance". Nevertheless, I was entertained by Houston and Grandberry. Houston, who was featured on the TV show, Sister Sister, does a decent acting job and Grandberry shows that he needs more work if he wants to stay in this industry, but when they are not speaking and just dancing along with other members of the dance crew, the movie soars. It's flashy and energetic and that's what counts. Don't go looking for more if you're looking for a story. Take a look at the commercials and see what will drive you to theaters to watch this film.