"Make Your Move" is finally opening in the country that brought star Derek Hough international fame through his "Dancing with the Stars" connections. Go to see the dancing, and zone out the dialogue.
"Make Your Move" isn't Hough's first movie. Hough previously appeared as a Hogwarts schoolboy in the 2001 "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" and made a cameo appearance in his sister's 2012 movie "Rock of Ages."
The United States isn't the first place this South Korean produced film opened. The movie first opened in Norway last July, followed by Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands and Italy. Vietnam was the first Asian country in September with Hong Kong in October and Singapore in November. The movie opens in South Korea only one day ahead of its USA 18 April 2014 release.
According to IMDB, this is his co-star BoA's first feature film. BoA has been in two TV movies, but she's an established Korean pop star.
If you're expecting great acting or characters, then you'll be deeply disappointed. "Make Your Move" is brought to us by the person who created the screenplay for the 2006 "Step Up," and the characters for the sequels: Duane Adler. Adler directs as if he's impatiently rushing us towards the next musical interlude and dance moments. The dialogue is tragic and sometimes defies logic.
Hough plays Donny, a dancer who can't find a day job in New Orleans. He's just finished a stint in jail for reasons that remain murky until much later. So he asks his best friend (who played Ben Gonzalez in the 2009 "Reaper" TV series) to cover for him when Donny's parole officer (Dan Lauria) calls and Donny violates the conditions of his parole by leaving the state and heading up to NYC where his "brother" Nick (Wesley Jonathan of "The Soul Man" TV series). Donny is white; Nick is black. They are foster bros, so get over it and get on with this multicultural story.
Nick and his Korean-Japanese friend Kaz (Will Yun Lee) had started up a semi-legal club, kind of rough but trendy nightspot on the site of a former factory. In a weird love polygon, Kaz and Nick part ways because a Wall Street hotshot Michael ("Silent Hill" actor Jefferson Brown) has yellow fever--for Kaz's sister Aya (BoA). Michael is Kaz's financial backer for a legit club with an Asian flair called Oto (but as I recall, pronounced Otto).
Kaz's departure was so abrupt that the taiko (Japanese drums) belonging to Aya's taiko hip hop tapping women's group are locked away in storage backstage at Nick's club. Aya and her group break into Nick's club and, in a moment of flamboyant stupidity, instead of sneaking off, they perform. Not worried about making a getaway, BoA takes to tapping on top of the bar and Donny, tapping flattened beer cans on his shoes, gets up and starts a challenge. It's love at first dance.
Yet how will Aya and Donny get their respective brothers to stop fighting? Will anyone get killed?
Despite the tragedy of the dialogue, this movie has a happy ending. Despite the gunfire, the hallmarks of Shakespearean tragedies (bodies piling up on the stage) are absent from this Japanese Juliet meets living rough Romeo tale.
"Make Your Move" isn't a great movie but feature wonderful dance sequences and may be the first step for Derek Hough into musical stardom.