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Stomp the Yard: Homecoming
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that for a lightweight film about young people in a college setting and/or in the world of hip-hop music, this one has little objectionable material. The main characters strive for excellence, have high moral standards, or pay the consequences and learn important lessons. In scenes with some threatening street toughs, as well as during several fistfights and brawls, there are lots of harsh punches thrown but few injuries. There's one passionate make-out scene (curiously intercut with the vandalism of a restaurant), but it's without explicit sexuality, and there's no nudity. The cursing is infrequent and mild: "ass," "damn," "s--t," and there's one middle finger salute.
What's the story?
The National Step-Off dance competition is only days away at Truth University, a fictional African-American university in Atlanta. Chance Harris (Collins Pennie), back in school after an emotional withdrawal following the death of his mother, desperately wants to help his fraternity win the contest, which offers full scholarships to everyone on the victorious dance team. But Chance has been the victim of a scam and owes money to some very bad people. Further complications involve a long-standing rivalry with some other frat boys, an old girlfriend threatening his current relationship, and his father's disapproval of his passion for dance. There's lots of urban music and dance to move the story along, and Chance is faced with some difficult choices that lead him to examine the meaning of both integrity and self-respect. Columbus Short, from the original Stomp the Yard, returns in a cameo as an inspirational mentor to Chance and his friends.
Is it any good?
Though earnest in its efforts, the movie falls short of the energy and fun exhibited in Stomp the Yard. (Hoping to capitalize on the box office success of that earlier film, this sequel has been released directly to DVD.) The story is predictable, unoriginal, and without depth. With few exceptions the performances, editing, and production values are barely passable. There are a very few exhilarating dance sequences, but most of the musical numbers look amateurish, partly because the director is hamstrung by having a lead actor who is not really a dancer.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether or not this movie feels like a sequel. What about it, other than the title, makes it (or doesn't make it) a sequel to Stomp the Yard? Is there any continuation of the old story? Of the characters?
Dancing is an important part of this story. What other movies have you seen in which the music or dancing moves the plot along?
Chance makes some very bad choices early in the film. What are the consequences of his actions? What are some of the consequences of choices you've made?
Neither Chance nor his dad are bad people when we meet them, yet together they don't connect. What specific events help them remake their relationship?