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Clichéd ‘You Got Served’ for B2K fans only

Stirring dance scenes are the film's one redeeming quality. By Christy Lemire
/ Source: The Associated Press

“You Got Served” may look like a post-millennial “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo” — and Lord knows that’s long overdue.

But at 93 minutes, the movie actually is more like an extended infomercial for B2K, the recently split fab four of R&B, as written and directed by the group’s manager, Christopher B. Stokes.

The boys of B2K — Omari “Omarion” Grandberry, Jarell “J-Boog” Houston, DeMario “Raz-B” Thornton and Dreux “Lil’ Fizz” Frederic — appear as members of a Los Angeles street dance crew that battles other groups for money, pride and (most importantly) bragging rights.

The dancing is, admittedly, pretty spectacular — a jaw-dropping combination of hip-hop moves, old-school breakdancing, cheerleading pyramids and down-and-dirty trash talk.

But it’s pretty much the same stuff you’d see if you devoted an hour and a half each day to watching videos on “106 and Park,” BET’s version of MTV’s “Total Request Live” — where, by the way, B2K’s “Badaboom,” off the “You Got Served” soundtrack, is hovering at the No. 1 spot on the countdown.

B2K devotees, who probably do watch videos each day on “106 and Park,” will bother spending the time and money on this in the theater. For everyone else who’s dragged along, the dancing will make the movie tolerable.

Cliché-ridden plotBut when Stokes steps away and tries to develop a plot, he comes up with clichés.

David (Grandberry), his best friend, Elgin (Marques Houston of the R&B group IMX, who’s Grandberry’s brother), and their buddies must prove themselves when they receive a challenge from a group of white-boy dancers from Orange County who’ve stolen their moves.

(Sound familiar? This was the plot of “Bring It On,” about white-girl cheerleaders who stole their moves from an inner-city high school’s squad.)

Just when their bond should be strongest, David and Elgin start fighting over David’s blossoming relationship with Elgin’s younger sister, Liyah (the gorgeous Jennifer Freeman).

But here’s what finally destroys their friendship: While reluctantly running an errand for street thug Emerald (Michael “Bear” Taliferro, a sort of urban Don Corleone), Elgin is jumped and the money he was carrying is stolen. David wasn’t there to help him like he was supposed to be because he was too busy making googly eyes at Liyah over french fries and milkshakes.

You know these two buddies will reconcile at the end, just in time for The Big Bounce — not to be confused with the movie “The Big Bounce,” based on the Elmore Leonard book, which is also opening this week. No, this big bounce is a $50,000 street dance competition, with the winning group going on to perform in a Lil’ Kim video.

Apparently these kids have no jobs or school to attend, because they have all day to practice. But even if they didn’t bother fine-tuning their moves, you know from having seen “The Bad News Bears,” “The Karate Kid” or “8 Mile” — or “Breakin’ 2,” for that matter — that the B2K boys will come out ahead, spinning on their heads, in the end.