Movie ReviewsRating: 2 of 5 yaps

Step Up Revolution

I am a “Step Up” virgin, somehow having managed to avoid — excuse me, miss — the first three flicks in the dancing-movie franchise. I actually went in thinking this was the third one, since it was in 3D, and you know how clever they are about those numerals. But no, I learned afterward, this was actually the fourth.

Based on the enthusiasm of the audience at the promotional screening I attended, they better be gearing up for a fifth.

Alas, I am not the target audience for this movie, possessing about 20 years too many and some man parts. Not to mention, dancing is not my thing, neither doing it nor watching it.

When it comes to dancing movies, I think nothing has ever hit the sweet spot like the Gene Kelly/Stanley Donen films, who understood that the musical sequences have to move the story along.

In “Step Up Revolution,” the dance numbers go on and on and on … and on a little more. They’re energetic, athletic and impressive, at least for a few minutes, and then they just keep hanging around. The final dance scene must sprawl along for 15 minutes and involve hundreds of performers, plus pyrotechnics, trampolines, bungee jumping and fog. There’s always fog.

Oh, and some kid named Moose jumps out and starts jittering around, and the audience went wild. I take it he was in a couple of previous “Step” movies. He wears a hat, shades, long hair and so much clothing I couldn’t really even tell what he was doing, other than just sort of vibrating a bit. Everyone else was impressed with his vibrating.

Even though I haven’t seen any of the other “Step Up” movies or read anything about them, based on this one, I’m going to make an educated guess about the plot of all of them:

They’re centered around a boy/girl story, two people who come together through their love of dance. But they’re from different worlds — he’s probably from that naughty side of the tracks — and the institutions of propriety (parents, school, authority) frown on their jitterbugging. There’s some static with friends pushed aside by the newly formed duo and some turbulent waters, but then everybody just dances and all their problems go away.

To those who’ve seen the other three movies — how’d I do?

Here, Sean (Ryan Guzman) is the guy and Emily (Kathryn McCormick) is the girl. He’s a waiter at a swanky Miami hotel; she’s the daughter of the fat-cat hotel owner (Peter Gallagher) who wants to demolish Sean’s down-market but vibrant neighborhood to build an even swankier hotel. Eddie (Misha Gabriel) is the best friend who gets pushed aside, if for just a little bit.

Eddie and Sean have been designing flash-mob events starring a group of dancers called, simply, “The Mob.” They’re trying to get noticed and win a YouTube contest for $100,000, which they don’t look like they really need because Eddie is a hacker with at least $25,000 worth of computer gear, and all Mob members own super-sweet classic cars decked out with neon paint jobs and those jumping hydraulic suspension thingees.

I don’t know why poor characters in movies always own nice classic cars. I own one, and I can tell you they’re horrendously expensive to keep up. A couple of years ago, my car began literally collapsing in on itself; I don’t want to tell you what it cost to fix. Minimum-wage slaves should really avoid them and get a sturdy used Honda.

Oh, yes, back to the dancing.

Attitudes on dancing have changed with the times. The World War II and Korean War generations were bonkers for it, and my dad made me to understand that it was all an excuse for the genders to rub up against each other in a socially acceptable way. Elvis shook his pelvis, and that was deemed dangerous. Then things got groovier, with less clothing.

The through line seems to be that dancing is something women really love and something men do just to get the women. The lone exception, at least cinematically, was the disco craze captured in “Saturday Night Fever,” where the guys strutted like peacocks so they could … well, impress the women and thereby get them.

Gals, in case you haven’t figured it out by now, we just tolerate dancing — and dancing movies — for ulterior motives.

I did enjoy some of the highly choreographed dance scenes in “Step Up Revolution.” Whenever the music stops and the characters try to talk to each other, it’s pure death. But never fear, another dancing scene will soon come along to please those for whom this movie was made.

Personally, I’d rather just read a book.

2 Yaps

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5 Responses to “Step Up Revolution”

  1. holliezehnder says:

    I took my two teenage daughters to see this movie and they loved it! The whole rich girl/bad boy falling in love story line was blah, but my girls didn’t care. They loved it! And they loved the dancing! I have to admit, I was totally impressed with the dancing and to be honest, I wish the whole movie was just non stop dancing, because the acting wasn’t great and the story line was boring and blah. But the dancing was awesome! They could have done without doing the movie in 3D, but it seems these days many movie makers are doing 3D to make that extra $3 even when it doesn’t even enhance the movie enough to even be worth the extra money.

  2. rjmillz says:

    This is the first movie that I scored advanced screening tickets to and didn’t go and see it…and they were even 3D tickets. Why? It’s simple…

    While the movies are mediocre at best with their entertainment value, the acting is god awful, and the plot is about as meaty as that of The Expendables.

    Now, we make a movie that mixes the improvisational flash mobs of 2009 with the hydraulic cars from 2 Fast 2 Furious, and this movie clearly has what would have made a fantastic Step Up 2. Let’s stop making shitty sequels and start bouncing around new ideas, eh?

  3. myboys2m says:

    WELL…HMMMM…i enjoyed taking the kids…but really wished we had picked a different movie! I liked the dance scenes but the rest of the movie made me yawn…the kids loved it!

  4. Jack says:

    Dancing. Blarg.

  5. Rebecca Luebcke says:

    Hahahahaha. This review cracked me up. I agree, for the most part. I would, however have given it an extra half yap for Kathryn McCormick’s fantastic outfits and shoes…boys can at least agree with me on the outfits. The acting was absolutely horrendous. And Eddie drove me completely nuts and I wanted to hurt him because he acts like an emotional girl. And is a baby. And a bad best friend. Isn’t it guy code that if your bestie is dating and extremely good looking girl your happy for him no matter what? Especially when she is trying to help you get $100,000? Seems like that should have factored in. Oh well. At least McCormick’s dancing was good. Didn’t really care for any of the other choreographed scenes, except possibly the museum. But, I didn’t completely understand the Christmas light ballerinas. The graffiti guy was pretty cool though, when he wasn’t making art out of silverware.