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Step Up Revolution (3D)

2012-09-07 12:15
 
What it's about:

On the streets of Miami a new craze is taking hold. Groups of young dancers, calling themselves The Mob, are launching huge flashmob dance performances around the city in an effort to win a Youtube contest. When Mob leader Sean gets involved with Emily, a new girl in town with dreams of becoming a professional dancer, it causes friction in the group.

What we thought:

Some film franchises, no matter how slight or throwaway, will probably always appeal to the trash cinema junkie in me.

The Hannibal Lecter movies, Halloween, The Fast and the Furious, Twilight, Resident Evil, even latter day Star Wars – with a record of dimishing returns as these ongoing tales roll on, I can't help but feel more and more attracted to them.

None more so than the Step Up films, now in its fourth instalment, which manages to tell the same story over and over again, with a new crop of fit and photogenic dancers and louder, more aggressive music to make its point.

The point each time seems to be that dance is able to triumph over every adversity – whether its destitution (bringing us Channing Tatum's breakout role in the first movie), culture clashes, class wars or even corruption (signalling the franchises foray into 3D with Step Up 3D).

Now, oddly, Step Up is going political on the streets of Miami as the rag-tag Mob use their public displays of physical and rhythmic prowess to probably bring about social change and maybe stop a big bucks hotelier (Peter Gallagher, playing a harder extension of his character on The OC) from redeveloping South Beach and forcing the closure of a number of small, iconic businesses.

What they will definitely be doing is telling their story of struggle through highly stylized dance sequences that, while flashy and acrobatic, have little of the heart or thrilling spectacle that made the three previous films so special. Everyone is required to look very serious and sombre for much of the film (nothing like the threat of losing your local hangout to mobilise the youth of today) and it's a mood that sits very uncomfortably with the Step Up brand.

It doesn't help that the core cast, "star-crossed lovers" Sean and Emily (played by newcomers Ryan Guzman and Kathryn McCormick) and Sean's anarchic Mob co-conspirator Eddy (Misha Gabriel) have about as much charisma as the ear-bleeding Skrillex-inspired screech-dubstep that soundtracks much of the dance bits.

The severe blahness of Step Up Revolution is only further exacerbated by the great hype built up in the trailer and promotional posters of the return of Step Up 3 standouts Adam Sevani as loose-limbed teenager Moose, and Chadd Smith whose robotic moves never fails to make jaws drop. The filmmakers shoot themselves in the foot by bringing back the old gang late in the game to "save" the Mob and their little community from bulldozers, making clear that the newly minted cast of characters never quite cut the mustard to begin with.

The old crew only serve to remind viewers of just how fun and carefree the earlier films were and how lacking Revolution is.

At this point the Step Up franchise has little hope of ever recreating the magic brought to the screen by Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan (who would later end up married in real life) or using its abundant choreographic creativity for forces of good, rather than shoe-horning the entire narrative into a quota of 3D-specific dance sequences that just aren't as exciting as they used to be.

This is particularly disappointing considering that Step Up 3D proved to be one of the few movies to make 3D special and exciting again, post-Avatar

So while The Fast and the Furious movies get more thrilling with each new audacious indulgence in speed, Step Up is losing its footing and fails to make a compelling argument for the franchises' continuation.


With its ear-bleeding screech-dubstep soundtrack, über-blah new cast and frustratingly serious tone, the fourth Step Up movie is a step in the wrong direction for the franchise.

Read more on:    channing tatum  |  celebrities
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(Comments may be edited or deleted at the Channel24 editors’ discretion)
P1373R 8/30/2012 7:19 AM
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not a fan of dance movies, but dubstep made this movie. this reviewer probably thinks rom coms are the best ever. pity.
Timothy Hill 9/5/2012 10:57 AM
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The fourth film in the ever-popular dance movie series posed a real question to me. Can they make this installment different from the rest, but still retain a sense of wonder with the subject matter? The resounding answer is yes. The film follows a group of dancers know as 'The Mob' that organises ever-increasingly amazing flashmobs. The lead guy falls in love with the beautiful daughter of a rich industrial developer. From here on, the script doesn't bring anything new. The amazingly intricate dance sequences does make up for a script lacking in substance. This is also only the second movie where the 3D element actually add depth (no pun intended) to the story and especially the dance sequences. Also, dubstep has never been used to amazingly effective in cinema. Ever. Go see it for the dancing alone.
Timothy Hill 9/5/2012 10:58 AM
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The fourth film in the ever-popular dance movie series posed a real question to me. Can they make this installment different from the rest, but still retain a sense of wonder with the subject matter? The resounding answer is yes. The film follows a group of dancers know as 'The Mob' that organises ever-increasingly amazing flashmobs. The lead guy falls in love with the beautiful daughter of a rich industrial developer. From here on, the script doesn't bring anything new. The amazingly intricate dance sequences does make up for a script lacking in substance. This is also only the second movie where the 3D element actually add depth (no pun intended) to the story and especially the dance sequences. Also, dubstep has never been used to amazingly effective in cinema. Ever. Go see it for the dancing alone.
Louise Le Roux 10/26/2012 12:09 PM
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It is the best type of movies made. It keeps me up and in expectation the whole time. THANK YOU!!1
Joe 10/29/2012 6:07 PM
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It sucked, as was to be expected.
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