Open up with some fast-paced street dancing/stepping moves in the dark corners of Los Angeles. DJ and his crew, including his little brother, have some pretty nice moves, get a little too big for their britches with another group, and after winning the competition, the leader of the other group starts a fight with DJ's crew; the result is DJ's little brother is shot and killed, and DJ moves out to Atlanta for a shot at college and avoiding prison.
Don't let the blurry images of the first few minutes put you off. It's gritty, raw, and street... the college scene won't make you nearly as motion-sick. I won't sing endless praise about a cutting-edge storyline or novel plot, but Columbus Short as DJ has a bit of dance credits to his name, bringing an air of credibility to doing his own stuff (he's something of a choreographer), and Meagan Good as love interest April (remember her from Roll Bounce and Waist Deep?) provide a bit of working chemistry between the two leading characters.
The dance scenes really seemed to carry the film above and beyond the cliche characters and plot twists. Failing the stepping, I think you could otherwise superimpose the music/dance/routine-based films' characters and stories one above the other and find it fits the mold. (Bring it On, You Got Served, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, Step Up, etc., etc.)
Certainly, the message itself is a good one, just tired. Putting team before self, standing up for your views even at the risk of losing what you want to hold onto, etc. But if you're looking to pass an afternoon, at matinee pricing I wouldn't feel guilty for suggesting putting "Stomp" on your weekend plans if you're looking for some good steppin' and a few zinger one-liners.