Due to technical difficulties, audio version will be added later.

Step Up Revolution Review
By Darrin Jones / July 27

Ingredients:  If you liked the social commentary of The Legend of Billy Jean, the romance of Save the Last Dance, and, of course, the choreography of Step Up 2, then you will like this movie.

Haven’t we gotten past this yet? Haven’t we gotten past the one dimensional ‘bad guys’ hatching evil schemes to oppress the down-trotted only be thwarted by a rambunctious gang of free spirited youths? What happened to you Step Up franchise? You use to be about the dancing. Step Up Revolution focuses on a local Miami flash mob -- brilliantly named “The Mob” -- as they attempt to get enough YouTube views to win a contest for a $100,000. The Mob is led by young Miami bachelors Sean and Eddy (as played by Ryan Guzman and Misha Gabriel Hamilton.) Things get complicated for the breakdancing group when Sean starts romancing Emily (Kathryn McCormick), the daughter of corporate CEO, Anderson (Peter Gallagher.) Anderson threatens to demolish a seaside strip and force Sean and his neighbors out of their homes and businesses. The Mob turns their fresh funky dance moves into protests to win public notoriety and combat the corporate expansion. There’s some romance, some misunderstandings, hurt feelings, betrayed friendship, oh, and dancing. Lots of dancing. In fact, mostly dancing.

Step Up Revolutions is the most bland, generic ‘teen movie’ I’ve seen in some time. Anyone that grew up in the 90’s, you could probably predict every cliche the film rehashes. Best advice is to skip the first 45 minutes of the movie because it’s only around the first hour mark that there’s any real character and plot developments. As a movie, it’s boring and predictable but as a series of music videos, it’s actually pretty good. The music is a mixture of dub-step beats and original techno but really nothing too terribly interesting. A few of the dance scenes were fantastic, a few were okay, but a lot were just mediocre.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the film’s target audience but I’m not too sure who the target audience is suppose to be. Maybe I’m just not hip enough to get your young kids but the majority of the pop-and-lock dance moves just didn’t seem...good. Sure there were some elements of break dance but really it felt like I was watching some pale  Miami 20-somethings talking about how hard their lives are while performing some rhythmically challenged dance moves. Step Up Revolution boasts a large dance crew but the characters are never developed; the screen time seems wasted on Sean and Emily.

The romance severally undercuts whatever social commentary they were trying to make and only serves to pad out a half thought out story.  After one protest dance, The Mob actually succeeds. The evil land development deal is put on hold and predicted not to pass. But then The Mob, for no good reason, screws up their image and puts the deal back on track. Yes, they single handedly fixed the problem and then undid all their work in the span of 20 minutes. This is lazy writing. The one progressive thing the movie does have going for it is that is shows Anderson’s side a little. Anderson is shown as a legitimate business man and a caring father. Although, his complete shift from a shrewd businessman to a friendly rich dude that connects with the urban youth came out of nowhere. Screw the three ghosts on Christmas Eve approach, all Scrooge needed was some spirited youngsters dancing off shipping containers.

There was too much about Step Up Revolution that I just didn’t get. I didn’t get why a movie in 2012 was ripping off a hackneyed plot from any 90’s movie. I didn’t get how The Mob was rebelling against a society that didn’t notice them while recording themselves on some pretty pricey computer equipment, wearing designer clothing, driving luxury tricked out muscle cars, and tracking their video hits on YouTube. I didn’t get why Sean and Eddy felt it was just them against the world when they had a huge group of friends and always hung out at a happening bar where they got free drinks. But hey, I came from a middle-class family that didn’t live in Miami, didn’t have countless friends that supported me in my money making schemes, and didn’t have Hollywood good-looks. Clearly I don’t understand the plight of these whimsical youngsters.

1 comment:

  1. It's worth a rental just to see the museum dance number, by far the best choreography and unique dance in the film