Step Up Revolution: A Step Forward and Half A Step Back
I'm a frustrated dancer. I was way too old to take formal training in dancing when the first Step Up movie came out. That's why I watched the whole franchise and every dance movie that I can get my hands on. I even watch the show So You Think You Can Dance
because I am so into dancing. But I also love movies and that's why I'm going to be tough on Step Up Revolution
What made Step Up quite a lovely little film was that it was a typical Romeo and Juliet story of street dance meets classical dance
while finding common ground in-between. It had up-and-coming superstar Channing Tatum, a very powerful chemistry between the two actors (Channing Tatum eventually married co-star Jenna Dewan and are still together), some kick-ass dancing, and a story about how two people, passionate about dancing, use their talent to make their world better. It's cliche, but it was personal and contained. It was intimate in its scope and by being so, allowed it to be transposable to any passion that you might have.
The next two Step Up
films, though, which showcased some pretty amazing dancing, got way in over their heads. They began believing that dancing can change the world, made sweeping statements about it, and then gave us more formulaic story lines with its incorrigible Hollywood flourish that it becomes unbelievable.
Step Up Revolution
is exactly that. It is cliched and one-dimensional and belongs in a world without dire consequences. A group of dancers, The Mob, led by best friends Sean and Eddy (Ryan Guzman and Misha Gabriel) create lavish flash mobs in the streets of Miami to win a contest on the Internet. The video that reaches ten million hits gets a cash prize of one hundred thousand dollars. Considering the effort, planning, costumes, props, and equipment
used in each flash mob, you wonder why they need the money in the first place. They seem to be doing fine without it.
Enter Emily Anderson (Kathryn McCormick), the beautiful daughter of hotel magnate Mr. Anderson (Peter Gallagher) who plans on turning one of Miami's strips, described as a slum, into a world class hotel
. The strip is home to many of the dancers of The Mob and is the supposed "cultural" hotbed of Miami's residents.
Since there are no coincidences in a movie like Step Up Revolution
, Emily is a dancer who is being forced by her father to take up business and take her father's place.Find all the best deals in one place --- Visit EYP Deal Finder now!
I don't have to say anymore because I know you can already tell where the rest of the story goes.
It is an uninspired approach to the art of dance. Turning the performance art antics of The Mob into protest art hardly counts as adding depth to an already worn-out formula. It is one-dimensional in its portrayal of the evil corporation. Establishment is oppressive. Being a free-spirit is good. Doing what you want is the most important thing in the world. But we are never really given an example as to why.
"Break the rules," Sean tells Emily. "We're going to get busted for this," Eddy warns Sean. None of these hold any weight
because we are never given a chance to see the severity of consequences. Everything is told, never shown. There is never any danger throughout the entire film.
So why am I getting all worked up when I really just watched it for the dancing? Because with just a little more thought, it could have been moving. It could have been so much more than what the series has become in the past two installments. They just fall short of the magic that made the first movie so wonderful. It really actually meant something to its main characters in the first film.
I will say that there was a fair attempt at a developing love story. What begins as physical attraction blossoms into friendship and then trust and then love. With more adept actors, it would have saved the movie's fatal flaw. Ryan Guzman and Kathryn McCormick are gorgeous people, fantastic dancers, but need more training as actors.
Fly in your soup? RANT! Great food at a great price? RAVE! Share your
thoughts through EYP Search-O-lympics and win awesome prizes while
you're at it.
But I came for the dancing and I got more than I could ask for. I am familiar with Kathryn McCormick from being a contestant in the sixth season of So You Think You Can Dance
and she was stunning then and even more stunning now. McCormick and Guzman are graceful and skilled, and are given a fantastic platform to showcase their skills, as are all the other dancers in the movie. Being set in Miami is a good move because they can show as much hot bodies as they want, to be enjoyed for all sexes.
Director Scott Speer is a pain, though, constantly moving the camera when you wish he would just stick his shot in one place so that we can see what's going on. It was as if he felt that moving it around would create more energy but all he did was cover up some fantastic dancing moments. There were quite a few things that felt gimmick-y and I thought he should have focused on more of the dancing, but the crowd in the theater
loved it and were blown away by it. So I will let that pass.
The film is made for 3D viewing, though. Even in 2D, you can tell how each of the dances would have been grander and more jaw-dropping with the bonus special effects
. And as much as I trashed Step Up Revolution
in this review, I'm probably going to watch the film again, in 3D, because the dancing was that good. It's all I really came to watch anyway.Juice Recommends:
Juice Shopping: What to buy and where to buy
Juice Out of Town: Where will your next getaway be?