‘Step Up: Revolution’ is far from revolutionary, although the dancing will impress
Step Up: Revolution
Directed by Scott Speer
Written by Duane Adler and Jenny Mayer
Here is an interesting little franchise. The Step Up films, as far this movie reviewer can tell (having not seen any of the previous three episodes) do not follow any overarching plot, continuous from one installment to the next. Nay, each is a self-contained dance obsessed adventure involving a revolving door of character, although IMDB indicates that a couple of performers make appearances from one film to the next. This may speak to ignorance, but it feels as if no one hypes, anticipates, goes to or afterwards discusses these films. Perhaps the safest claim is that the series most notable attribute is helping to put today’s unexpected poster boy for cool, Channing Tatum, on the map as he starred in the opener. Still, in the summer of 2012, here comes the fourth film, subtitled Revolution.
Scott Speer’s film takes audiences to sunny Miami, Florida, where Sean (Ryan Guzman) and his dance troop, self-baptized ‘The Mob’, are competing in an online challenge in which dance bands are called upon to perform outlandish, live performances on the streets or wherever they see fit, with the first team to achieve one million You Tube views earning sweet, sweet victory and some cash. Even though they impress onlookers in the film’s opening scene, where The Mob brings traffic to a stand still at mid day with an elaborate, stunt filled party number, they nevertheless lag well behind the leader board. To make matters even worse, Mr. Anderson (Peter Gallagher) the owner of the first class hotel where Sean and some of his friends work, is planning to demolish the part of town along the water where his gang and some cultural minorities have lived for years, to be replaced with stunning new highrises. Emily (Kathryn McCormick), a dance student at a prestigious school in town, comically makes Sean’s acquaintance once day at a beach party, The two feel an immediate pull towards one another. The positive side is that Emily fits well enough into The Mob given her prodigious skills. The downside is that she is Mr. Anderson’s daughter, information that, if revealed to the gang at large, would certainly create a rift within this tightly knit, desperate group.