Musical, Reviews

Step Up Revolution

Step Up Revolution

Copyright © 2012 by Summit Entertainment

The action takes place in Miami and centres on a dance crew known as The Mob who performs flash mobs to be publicly recognised for their efforts in winning a challenge with a hefty reward. The leader, Sean Asa (Ryan Guzman) and his best friend, Eddy (Misha Gabriel) work in the Dimont Hotel and are introduced to Emily (Kathryn McCormick) who happens to be the daughter of business magnate Bill Anderson (Peter Gallagher). Bill has set his sights for a massive development project located within Sean’s community and approval to start restructuring has been obtained. With Emily’s help, the trio devises a plan to stop the event from taking place through a series of cleverly concocted flash mobs.

Since these movies are still enthralling audiences all around the world (not so much in the States though), why not another one? To begin with, the series knows exactly who its demographic is for and does not stretch its credibility beyond the realm of philosophically imposing questions laced in stylish dance sequences. A more economical version of the bloated ‘Transformers’ franchise and less mechanised in nature. Or is it trying way too hard to emulate the epitome of self-importance and plunges into caricature instead?

Whatever the case may be, it stands as the most politically driven. A rather poignant question is asked early on in the film about wanting to be part of something different and the reply to that I would say is almost a resolute 100%. Almost but not quite. Still, it gets an ‘A’ for effort though. The ‘problems’ which plagued its third outing are ‘cautiously’ repeated and nearly derails the objective at hand (the drama is underwhelming and the leads’ characterisations are lazily written).

An oversight the sequel tries to coast through the charms of its leading man (Guzman) and sole veteran (Gallagher). Both ground the sometimes unbelievable situations and dialogue from descending into unwanted improbability. Utilising minimalism to convey the tribulations felt by either man (not too many of those, by the way), it gives viewers a chance to breathe, absorb and process the details amid a frantic nonetheless jaw-dropping joyride.

If you thought ‘Step Up 3’ was a visual feast, wait till the sights and sounds of Miami turn up the heat for a spanking good time. I dare you not to be grinning as wide as the Cheshire Cat once the optimistic tale is over. It could be a blur after a day or two but while it remains fresh, there is no denying that the choreographers have outdone themselves with awesome gravity-defying moves, made more alive by the use of 3D shots with no-holds-barred to the conceptualisation of each dance.

In earlier entries, the routines were usually confined to designated areas for dance. The bar is raised here from colourful performances beginning in the streets of Miami, resuming in a museum of fine arts and restaurant, followed by a protest against the demolition of Asa’s neighbourhood and finishing it off with a rousing number in a shipyard – anything that incorporates parkour is always a plus. If freedom to express is indeed a right to be heard, then ‘Revolution’ could have revolutionised a whole lot more than just some fancy footwork.

Entirety: B-
Acting: B-
Plot: B-

Rated PG-13 for some suggestive dancing and language


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