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Reel Rating: 2 out of 5 Reels
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some suggestive dancing and language
Released in Theaters: July 27, 2012 (2D, 3D)
Released on DVD/Blu-ray: Nov. 27, 2012
Genre: Drama, Music, Romance
Runtime: 99 minutes
Directed by: Scott Speer
Cast: Kathryn McCormick, Ryan Guzman, Mia Michaels, Peter Gallagher
Official Site: Step Up Movie
Step Up Revolution opened in theaters the week after the tragic theater massacre during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado, so I was ready for something light and breezy. Unfortunately, I didn’t find it in this movie. Oh the dancing is great and everyone is beautiful and amazingly fit. I just wish the movie played more like a feature film than a series of acts from So You Think You Can Dance or America’s Got Talent.
Step Up Revolution is the fourth movie in the Step Up franchise, which has released a new film every couple of years since the original Step Up premiered in 2006. They all follow pretty much the same format. There’s a guy and a girl, often from different sides of the track, who are thrown together in a situation that needs resolving. There’s always a LOT of dancing. I guess by now, audiences realize they don’t go to a Step Up movie expecting an Oscar-winning storyline. They’re there to see beautiful people dance. Step Up Revolution is no different.
It stars Ryan Guzman as Sean, a handsome waiter in a high-end Miami hotel whose true passion is serving as co-leader of an underground dance crew known only as The Mob. They organize and choreograph very creative and usually illegal flash mobs around the city.
The flash mobs are so creative, in fact, that they involve things like low-rider cars with amazing mechanical capabilities, kids dancing on the roofs and hoods of cars that are (fortunately) stopped in traffic, a street artist who creates and finishes massive “Mob” artwork while the others are dancing, and large groups of kids dressed in impeccable suits who dance in lobbies of fancy places with money floating down around them. Where do they get the suits, fancy cars, money, and high-tech sound equipment? I have no idea.
The Mob’s goal is to post video after video of their dance exploits on the Internet, because the first group to get 10 million hits wins $100,000. But wait, there’s more. A girl named Emily (Kathryn McCormick, who came in third on season three of So You Think You Can Dance) arrives in Miami looking for her shot at stardom via a prestigious dance studio run by Olivia (Mia Michaels, a judge on So You Think You Can Dance).
Turns out that Emily’s father (Peter Gallagher) is a big-time real estate developer who wants to tear down the neighborhood where the kids live, where they interact with a kindly older guy who runs a colorful diner, and where they stage their amazing flash mobs in what appears to be an abandoned warehouse.
Apparently, the kids are all independently wealthy, since they’re able to show up 24/7 to perform these flash mobs, which continue to surprise and mystify TV reporters and citizens, even though they happen all the time. Also, this must be an alternate universe of Miami, because there are no gangs, homeless people or nefarious criminals (other than said big-time developer) anywhere.
Emily is an outsider in every way, but she somehow manages to get the flash mob to think beyond the $100,000 payoff and instead dance to make a statement and save the cozy neighborhood they all know and love. “It’s about giving people who can’t speak a voice,” someone utters meaningfully somewhere along the way.
I’m not going to tell you whether The Mob accomplishes their mission, but based on what I’m revealing about the bland plot, stilted dialogue and cliché stereotypes, you can pretty much guess how it goes.
Look, there’s only going to be one Dirty Dancing and one Footloose, and dance movies, in general, are never going to raise the bar any higher. But if you really, really love dance, then you’ll love all the dance numbers in Step Up Revolution. On the other hand, you can see a lot of them on the movie’s YouTube page.
Bonus Features (Blu-ray 3D|Digital Copy): The 2D and 3D are on the same disc (instead of separate releases). No DVD but it has an iTunes and Ultraviolet digital copy, two music videos, deleted scenes, commentary, featurettes and a ‘flash mob’ dance fight scene index.
Also Check Out: Step Up revolution Dance Workout, available on DVD, Digital Download and On Demand. Features four upbeat dance workouts based on the music and moves from Step Up Revolution.
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JANE’S REEL RATING SYSTEM:
One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it.
Two Reels – Coulda been a contender
Three Reels – Something to talk about.
Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick!
Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.