Born to Dance (2015)

Tia Maipi, Stan Walker, Kherington Payne, John Tui,
Coming of age tale told through the eyes of 'Tu', an ambitious young man from Auckland who dreams of being a professional hip-hop dancer.
  • 5.2 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Steve Barr, Hone Kouka, Casey Zilbert, Writer:
  • Tammy Davis, Director:
  • Jill Macnab, Leanne Saunders, Producer:
9 / 10

Clichéd and FANTASTIC!

Born to dance is low budget and we have mostly seen it before, but is that that a bad thing? Short answer, Nope.

This is a New Zealand movie so I had to see it and glad I did. It is simple a dance romance movie. But it has its own uniqueness to it. Nothing wrong with the movie. It has a boy who is struggling to make and he eventually sees an opportunity, but is it what it appears to be? Along the way he befriends a girl, but is she who she appears to be? It has some fine dance scenes and decent acting. The main characters are the strongest and that is fine as it should be. The characters play their parts and are very likable and you want them to succeed.

Excellent and worth the time. I am not a fan of dance movies, but I find myself constantly watching and enjoying them, not for the concept, but I always expect it to be fun and it has never failed to deliver. Solve all problems with dance....

I rate it an 8 out of 10 and have fun.

8 / 10

World class dancing and music, with some free movie thrown in

Young Tu wants to be a dancer, and spends all the time he's not working at his summer recycling job with his friends, the crew 2PK - all the way from South Auckland, New Zealand. Holla Papakura!

When Tu gets the chance to try out for their moneyed-up, world- beating, cross-town opposition the K Crew, his father lays down the law about his future, and his friends start seriously losing the plot, Tu finds himself pulled three different ways.

Okay, so far, so every reach-your-goals-movie ever. The story is nothing new, though there's a great injection of Kiwi humour every so often to lighten the drama - but the dancing and music are something else.

This is what you're really seeing Born To Dance for - choreography by the sensational Parris Goebel, performances by groups like the Royal Family and Black Grace, and the thumping soundtrack put together by P-Money from a mix of local and international artists.

The finale of the Regional Finals competition has to be seen to be believed - and it's best seen on the big screen.

7 / 10

A good watch

Another dance movie? My first thought was it was gonna be another dance movie with generic plot line, bad acting and dance which focuses on gimmicky acrobatics and effects rather than dance itself (Step Up series anyone?). But this movie proved me wrong in some way.

It's set in New Zealand, so expect some really exotic Kiwi accents, and the movie doesn't let down in that department. While some may find the accent borderline incomprehensible, I personally enjoyed it. It follows a young aspiring Hip-Hop dancer Tu with his crew, while saying more could be considered spoilers, so let's not go there. It's a pretty generic storyline formula used in many other previous dance movies (Step Up series, Streetdance series). The acting isn't wow-ing in any way, and most of them are professional dancers rather than actors from what I know. It also stars So You Think You Can Dance (US Version Season 4) finalist Kherington, which was a warm surprise for me because she was one of my favourite contestant during that season of the show.

But here's the best thing about this movie - the dancing, because it focuses on the DANCE part rather than using acrobatics and effects. The choreography were amazing. The group numbers at the end were extremely enjoyable to watch. Here's what I started disliking about the Step Up series after the 3rd movie - they were more acrobatics and props effects than dancing. And the sole focus on dancing in this movie was a refreshing change for me (Streetdance series did this as well previously, by fully focusing on the dance instead of props).

Anyway, the movie is not bad - generic plot line, not so bad nor good acting (I guess you could call it average), with amazing dancing and choreography. Which is why I gave it a 7/10, because it was wholesomely entertaining to watch.

2 / 10

If you enjoy painfully predictable movies, this one's for you.

I wanted to watch this movie before it had even been released once I found out that Parris Goebel had choreographed it. What I was hoping for was something fresh and exciting to reflect Goebel's amazing talent with dance moves.

Nope. Just the same story line that has been regurgitated SO many times I could cry. I was equal parts infuriated and despairing when I realised early on exactly where the plot was going. I skipped to parts where the dancing was, if only to see Goebels work but not even a line up of Stan Walker, music by P-Money and Scribe could make me sit through the entire movie.

Thoroughly disappointed.

8 / 10

Best dance movie I have ever seen.

Ever since the first "Step Up" I have been TIRED and bored by Western dance movies. It was always the same garbage; guy meets girl, girl does ballet, guy does hip-hop, they kiss, enter a competition and win. That's the gist of every American made dance movie. Enter this quiet little film from New Zealand, and I can honestly say that I was engrossed from beginning to end. It isn't just a movie about dancers with some garbage story tacked on to justify the hour and half run time. This is a real movie, with a plot, relate-able and likable characters, and a really great soundtrack. Every worked their butt off to make this movie the best it could possibly be, and it paid off in spades. The story was entertaining, I cared about what happened to the characters, and everyone was just a pleasure to watch. The really star of this movie is, of course, the dancing. I thought South Koreans were the dancing kings, but New Zelanders could seriously give them a run for their money. These guys can MOVE. Every single dance segment was unique, original, dynamic, and a spectacle in and of itself. I got up a few times and tried to replicate the moves, even though I have no memory for choreography.

This movie was great and I loved everything about it, except one of the actors; the female American lead. She was horribly untalented, and I knew for a fact that she couldn't really dance. Then I looked at the credits and she had not 1 but 3(!) dance doubles. Why even cast her if she couldn't dance? Because she is somewhat pretty? She dragged down what could have been a perfect cast, and almost ruined the movie every time she opened her mouth. Aside from this horrible casting choice, everyone was like a good friend you wanted to know more about, and if that doesn't make a good movie, I don't know what does.