Genre: Music Director: Scott Speer Cast: Ryan Guzman, Kathryn McCormick, Misha Gabriel, Peter Gallagher, Ryan Guzman, Claudio Pinto RunTime: 1 hr 39 mins Rating: PG Released By: Shaw Official Website:http://www.facebook.com/stepupmovie/
Opening Day: 30 August 2012
Synopsis: STEP UP REVOLUTION is the next installment in the worldwide smash Step Up franchise, which sets the dancing against the vibrant backdrop of Miami. Emily (Kathryn McCormick) arrives in Miami with aspirations of becoming a professional dancer and soon falls in love with Sean (Ryan Guzman), a young man who leads a dance crew in elaborate, cutting-edge flash mobs, called “The Mob.” When a wealthy business man threatens to develop The Mob's historic neighborhood and displace thousands of people, Emily must band together with Sean and The Mob to turn their performance art into protest art, and risk losing their dreams to fight for a greater cause.
Calling a Step Up movie good or bad always seems like missing the point these days. The franchise’s contribution to the dance genre is so prolific and so varied in ways no other movies could ever hope to match that when a Step Up movie is bad, it’s an indulgent wreck, and when a Step Up movie is good, it’s still an indulgent wreck. It’s a sign that a Step Up movie requires a certain set of expectations going in. Yet Step Up Revolution is such a scorching culmination of quality that has been escalating in greatness over the three previous Step Up movies that when I say everyone will be able to appreciate even the stains as part of the package, I really mean it.
Sean (Ryan Guzman) is the leader of The MOB, a dance group that stages elaborate street performances and films them with the goal of winning a YouTube competition where YouTube pays the first video that reaches 10 million hits. The group is languishing and seems to lack a certain inspiration until Sean meets Emily (Kathryn McCormick), an aspiring professional dance and daughter of real estate tycoon William (Peter Gallagher). Sean and Emily hit it off immediately but when the latter’s father hatches a plan to tear down the local neighbourhood to make way for a resort, their relationship and The MOB’s way of life are threatened. Sean must now work with Emily to turn their performance dance into protest dance to prevent the redevelopment from happening.
This is a lot of set-up for a movie that’s first and foremost about dancing but as you might expect, (spoiler) the power of dancing saves everyone and everything at the end of the day. Step Up Revolution knows that it’s a candy-coloured land where every place is a stage for a concert, where every problem is simply some sort of misunderstanding and where very bad guy can be defeated with a dance and it embraces this cartoonish realism with about as much pride as you had when you received your first paycheck. The problem isn’t with any of these being uninteresting because they’re interesting, but with the whole protest part of the movie.
To be sure, the dancing portions for the protest half of the movie aren’t very different from the dancing portions for the competition half. If the purpose of a protest is to make a statement about a very important issue, then why does The MOB not make any during protest dancing? It’s a silly oversight that robs the protest performances of any significance. At the one time the group is willing to step over the line and throw smoke grenades into the crowd, the police releases the perpetuators without incident the very next day. Or that one time when the group storms right into a foundation stone-laying event for the resort and proceeds with all kinds of acrobatic stunts, the mayor can only be so impressed with the performance that he decides to dance along with them instead of calling for the police.
Yet for all the grumbles about the movie’s cavalier attitude towards something that deserves more importance and sensitivity, Step Up Revolution remains one of most engaging films I have ever watched. I’ll admit upfront that I have mixed feelings about dancing but Step Up Revolution moves beyond being just an ok dance movie to a loud and crazy concert that’s charged with truly world class dancers, the most imaginative choreography, bravura stunts and the best use of environmental objects yet in any and all dance movies (look out for the hypnotising art museum performance and one of the last few scenes where people are dancing while rappelling down a slope!). Step Up Revolution is by far the best and most memorable Step Up movie and rightfully so.
(Step Up Revolution moves beyond being just an ok dance movie to a loud and crazy concert charged with the most incredible choreography)