Step Up Revolution

Directed By: Scott Speer

Starring: Kathryn McCormick, Ryan Guzman, Adam G. Sevani, and Peter Gallagher

Despite Soberfilmcritic’s blistering reviews of the Step Up series, we here at STMR love dance movies.  Correction-I love dance movies.  How could I not?  As a child of the 1980’s, I grew up in the Flashdance, Footloose, Staying Alive, Dirty Dancing era.  Cheesy dance movies are my forte.  So I gladly volunteered to see Step Up Revolution and save my fellow critic from the drinks he would need to make it through the film.  Unfortunately, Step Up Revolution was simply a retread of the plots of other dance movies.

Sean (Ryan Guzman) and Eddy (Misha Hamilton) are best friends and waiters at a posh hotel in Miami.  They live in one of the poorer areas of the city, away from South Beach, but they aspire for more.  In their spare time, Sean and Eddy are leaders of a talented group of dancers called The Mob.  The Mob is trying to upload a video that will attract 10 million online hits so that they can win a $100,000 prize.  They perform flash mobs in the middle of a busy intersection, at art shows or in the middle of a busy building to create a sensation.

Emily (played by So You Think You Can Dance alum Kathryn McCormick) is a young dancer auditioning for a contemporary dance company.  She is also the daughter of wealthy businessmen Bill Anderson (Peter Gallagher), who owns the hotel where Sean and Eddy work.  Sparks fly when Emily and Sean meet.  As they enter into a relationship, Emily joins The Mob and Sean helps her with her audition choreography.

Unfortunately for the new couple, trouble is on the horizon as Emily’s father decides to build a new luxury resort in Sean’s neighborhood.  All of his family and friends will lose their homes, their businesses and their jobs to pave the way for the new resort.  Emily, Sean and The Mob decide to move from performance art to protest art to draw attention to their plight.

Step Up Revolution is essentially a film version of the television show So You Think You Can Dance.  The film is filled with SYTYCD alumni – Kathryn, Mia Michaels, Twitch, Phillip, Brandon and others.  The movie was co-produced by one of the regular judges on the show, Adam Shankman; and SYTYCD choreographers Travis Wall and Christopher Scott are two of the three choreographers for the film.  If you like the show, you’ll love seeing familiar faces living their dream.  More importantly, you will adore the amazing, ridiculously awesome choreography.  The dance sequences in this film are phenomenal.  The scenes allow the dancers to tell stories and literally create art with their dance moves.  I honestly could not wait for each dance routine to begin because everything else in the movie was just filler in between spectacular dance scenes.

The lack of anything other than great dancing is the problem with Step Up Revolution.  The acting is a little questionable, and the plot is reminiscent of a number of other dance movies, including the original Step Up, Dirty Dancing and Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo.  Oh yes, I went there.  Breakin’ involved dancers protesting the demolition of a community center in an impoverished area.  The rich daughter of a wealthy businessman joined the protest in Breakin’ much like Emily in Step Up.  Here we are almost 20 years later with a similar plot.  Step Up Revolution needed to have more than incredible dancing to break new ground—they needed to “step up” to the plate with some new plot devices. 

The dance sequences are worthy of a high rating, but the overall film gets a 0.09% rating.