All my life I've done my best to avoid movies that are centered around dancing or singing. It's not the that they don't have a place in the world, because they do. There are plenty of people (mainly females) that really like this stuff. But me? I'm not a dancer and I refuse to sing, so why would I want to watch anyone else do it on a movie? With all that being said, I did decide to review Step Up Revolution. Why you ask? Well, I was already at the theater to see another screening and this was playing right after it.
Step Up Revolution tells the story of a group of faceless dancers who call themselves The Mob. This group of dancers runs around Miami, Florida surprising people with dance numbers out of nowhere. This gets them a little bit of recognition, but if they're not careful, it could also get them int trouble with the law. Because of their escapades and their growing amount of attention that they're receiving, they grow more and more influential. This is both good and bad, because it brings them more attention from the authorities, but it also introduces one of it's key members to love.
Step Up Revolution opens up with a dance number that's meant to introduce the audience to the mysterious group simply known as "The Mob." After this, we enter a short period in the movie where we meet some of its important members face to face as we get a glimpse into their lives outside of their love for dancing. Anyone who's ever watched movies (or T.V. for that matter) will surely recognize some of what takes place next in this story. We have the two leaders of The Mob Sean (Ryan Guzman) and Eddy (Misha Gabriel) who grew up together and have been best friends their entire lives. We also get a love story thrown into the mix as Sean falls for his dream girl Emily (Kathryn McCormick), who he eventually has all of these dances with.
I'm going to stop right there and not to go into any details, because I don't want to give away any supposed spoilers or anything. I say "supposed spoilers," because most of what's in the story is your run of the mill stuff. Despite the fact that the story is a retread of things that we've seen a million times over, some of you potential viewers may want to see it while it's happening on the big screen, so you might not want to read about it on The Movie Picture Show. As you know, I go out of my way to avoid spoilers and I feel that giving anything away in this review would pretty much allow you to figure most of what is going to take place in this movie. That's how common and predictable it is.
Anyway, I'll start by talking about the parts of this movie that are more on the positive side of the spectrum. Some of the dance numbers in Step Up Revolution are well done and can be quite nice to watch at times. This can be said specifically of the performances that include a large number of the performers dancing together within their well choreographed sets. The one on one dances between Sean and Emily on the other hand, are relatively boring and they have no sexual or sensual chemistry between them. Maybe if they could actually act, these scenes would have had more of an impact.
While the dancing scenes are fine for the most part, the rest of this movie is resting comfortably at the bottom of the barrel. I won't be disrespectful and say something like "the acting in Step Up Revolution is terrible," I'll be nice and say that the acting is as well below average as you can get. The two leads in particular put on some very wooden performances that show up every time the D.J. hits pause and the bodies stop moving. With the exception of Peter Gallagher and the light skinned black guy that I remember from one of National Geographic's Locked Up Abroad episodes I believe, I don't recognize anyone else in this movie.
If the rest of these actors are actually dancers by trade I can give them somewhat of a pass. It's not what they do, so them delivering horrendous acting performances would be understandable. It would be like me trying to act except I'd probably keep looking at the camera while sounding just as robotic as these guys do. If they are actors? Well, they probably won't be getting too many more opportunities unless they drastically improve their acting skills. I could be wrong though, Zac Effron still gets movie roles.
The biggest problem with Step Up Revolution isn't the acting. The biggest problem that the movie faces is the story. As I stated earlier, this is your run of the mill script and generally speaking, it fails in nearly every way imaginable. Much like the actors, it's stale and offers very little to keep you interested. I think the story is in place just so they could actually call it a movie, because aside from some of the dancing there is no other reason to watch this.
If you like movies like this, then you'll probably go see it and you may have a good time. I can understand that. It's a chick flick with a lot of dancing and I could some people actually being entertained by it. For anyone else, you're probably not going to like this too much because there's not much in here to like. Aside from some of the dance sequences and Kathryn McCormick's marvelous legs and "assets" (emphasis on the first three letters of assets), I really didn't see any positives myself and I still can't believe that I sat through the whole thing.
By the way, I also want to add that you can see this movie in 3D if you choose. However, I would advise you to skip that version if you're able to see it on a normal movie screen instead. With the exception of one scene, this is some of the most useless 3D in the history of mankind. It's literally in every scene I believe and it does absolutely nothing in all but maybe two of them. I went into Step Up Revolution wondering how they could possibly make 3D work in a movie about dancing and I came out of it realizing that they couldn't.
Director: Scott Speer
Film Length: 97 minutes
Release Date: July 27, 2012
Distributor: Summit Entertainment