“You Got Served: Beat the World” is a terrible motion picture, but you probably already knew that. The original “You Got Served,” released in 2004, was also a terrible motion picture, but at least it made the attempt to tell something of a story between blasts of street dance and hip-hop humiliation. “Beat the World” is a lazy movie, with only a faint hint of conflict dusted over repetitive and illogical dance sequences. It’s a bore from start to finish. Again, you probably already knew that.
Some might argue that drama comes second in a film like “Beat the World.” After all, it’s a dance movie first and foremost, arranged to display blistering choreography, not challenging screenwriting and searing performances. However, I wonder what would be the harm in a genuinely surprising production that takes special care with character development and passionate interaction, keeping the viewer interested in these dreamers before they hit the stage to prove their worth. Writer/director Robert Adetuyi has no such ambition. He’s just punching a clock here, submitting the least amount of work when the dance efforts take a smoke break.
The plot is pure “Saved by the Bell,” following Yuson as he builds his crew with special parkour moves (a sport of running and the acquisition of distance, but never mind that) while dealing with Maya, an intelligent young woman looking to the west coast for college. They have sex, he ignores her needs, they break up, and Yuson immediately leans over to Cherry (Nikki Grant), a member of the crew who’s interested in helping the conflicted dancer get over the dissolution of his relationship. What a hero. Of course, Yuson wants Maya back, using the competition as a way to prove himself worthy, while also confronting the boastful leader of the German team. And that’s pretty much it for plot in “Beat the World,” which doesn’t strain too hard to summon substance, getting by with formulaic mush that’s unenthusiastically resolved.
The AVC encoded image (2.35:1 aspect ratio) presentation is solid, with colors handed a swell kick, leaving reds and blues compelling and accurately separated, emerging from vivid costumes and intense lighting. Skintones are accurate, while shadow detail is generally crisp and clean, only hitting a few overly contrasted areas of concern. Outdoor action enjoys wonderful clarity, with street and facial details easy to read.
The 5.1 DTS-HD is expectedly heavy with soundtrack cuts, which flood the listening experience. The beat-heavy tracks bring a rumble to the low-end, while filling out the surrounds, creating a music video vibe. Dialogue is frontal without much movement, outside of a few group encounters. Atmospherics are great for competition sequences, feeling out the mob dynamic, providing some directional activity.
English, English SDH, and Spanish Subtitles are offered.
“Making Of” (8:21) is a standard routine of promotion, with the cast and crew chatting up the choreography challenges and preparation, while padding out the run time with extended film clips. There’s minimal BTS footage to savor here.
“3Run: The Team Behind the Film” (6:59) chats up the parkour effort, covering the history and philosophy of the squad in charge of the film’s flips.
A Trailer has not been included.
The dance sequences are predictably wiggly, though Adetuyi doesn’t possess much of an eye for choreography. The editing is chaotic, shots are quite random, and there’s never a buildup of energy to help the footwork explode across the screen. Considering how many montages and performance scenes are stuffed in “Beat the World,” it’s stunning to find the film so completely lifeless and cross-eyed. Perhaps effort shouldn’t be expected with a low-budget cash-in like this, but a pulse would’ve been nice.