MOVIE REVIEW It'll serve you right if you go to see painfully vacuous 'You Got Served'
The fantastic dance routines are the only reason to buy a ticket.
By DAVID HILTBRAND
KNIGHT RIDDER NEWSPAPERS
Rarely do you encounter a movie without a shred of originality. "You Got Served" is such a cinematic vacuum.
Welcome to the world of competitive dancing. Teen poster boys and brothers Omari Grandberry (also known as Omarion) and Marques "Batman" Houston of the R & amp;B singing groups B2K and IMX, respectively, star as David and Elgin, the leaders of a street dance troupe. They take on all comers in an oversized boxing ring surrounded by rabid fans in a warehouse owned by neighborhood sage Mr. Rad (Steve Harvey).
No crew in Los Angeles can touch their scintillating moves until Wade (Christopher Jones), a smirky, spiky-haired suburban white boy, brings in a pack to steal their thunder. After besting David and Elgin, Wade snarls, "You suckers got served!"
This entirely derivative film swipes bits and pieces from a raft of urban classics, including "Breakin'," "Krush Groove," "Bring It On," "Drumline" and "8 Mile."
The plot -- and there really isn't enough of one to fill a music video -- revolves around a rift between the dancers that occurs when David starts paying too much attention to Elgin's little sister Liyah (Jennifer Freeman). Will the guys patch up their differences in time for the big dance contest and a chance to show up Wade? Duh!
The other B2Kers -- Jarell "J-Boog" Houston, DeMario "Raz-B" Thornton, and Dreux "Lil' Fizz" Frederic -- fill out the cast. Rapper Lil' Kim and MTV personalities La La and Wade Robson have cameos. But the acting is laughably bad and you can see every plot twist coming from Lancaster.
The real stars of the film, choreographers Dave Scott and Shane Sparks, are never seen. But they arranged the fantastic dance routines that are the only reason to buy a ticket to "You Got Served." Unless you're a young girl, in which case the sight of Omarion with his Paris Hilton pigtails and Marques training vigorously and shirtlessly for the big contest is worth the price of admission.
The dance-offs include a curiously high percentage of break-dancing moves, as the crews execute a variety of eye- and limb-popping headspins, windmills and freeze poses. That fits in with the oddly retro mood of the film. All of David and Liyah's dates are at the malt shop -- you keep expecting "Happy Days"' Arnold to take their order.
Apparently "You Got Served" was as painful to make as it is to watch. B2K broke up shortly after the film was completed.