The Step Up franchise has always been known for its lavish dance movies and over-the-top choreography and Step Up: Revolution is no exception. Moving away from the more traditional dance battles of previous iterations, the film capitalizes on the emerging flash mob trend to make a bigger splash in the dance scene. Not only that, Step Up: Revolution attempts to be much more than just another dance movie with its central message ideology.
Sean (Ryan Guzman) is the leader of the up-and-coming flash mob group called the MOB. Together, they’re trying to win a $100,000 competition by being the first group to reach 10 million YouTube hits. Their plan? Orchestrate elaborate flash mobs across the city, ranging from in the middle of daytime traffic to during an art exhibition. If there’s a big event going down, you can bet the MOB will be there. At first, their shenanigans are simply for the sake of winning the $100,000 but news soon develops that their Miami neighborhood is going to be demolished and rebuilt as a line of luxury hotels. Now the members of the MOB have something to fight for and decide to take their flash mobs to the next level by sending the city government a message.
Wrapped around this Occupy Wall Street meets flash mobs movement is the Romeo and Juliet love story between Sean and Emily. Sean grew up in the Miami narrows that are on the verge of destruction; meanwhile Emily (Kathryn McCormick) is daughter of the businessman who ordered the plan. Emily is a dancer herself but seems to lack the passion and creativity needed to get into a prestigious dance academy so see joins the MOB, unbeknown to her father’s plans.
The story itself is predictable. It’s the same type of love story we’ve seen in all the previous Step Up films where two radically different dancers find each other on the dance floor. Both Guzman and McCormick have just the right amount of chemistry to make it believable but other than that, it’s nothing special.
Where Step Up: Revolution does deliver is in its dance numbers. These aren’t your traditional flash mobs. The MOB manages to pull off some insane moves involving bouncing cars, art coming to life, and even bungee cords and trampolines. The dances are some of the best the franchise has seen, especially the mind-blowing finale that pulls out all of the stops by bring back some of the cast from previous films.
That is what the Step Up films have always been about. It’s the dances that make these films what they are and on that front Revolution delivers. It combines multiple styles of dance and theatrics into an outrageous spectacle that can only be seen on the big screen. Yes, the story is trite and doesn’t hold a candle to this summer’s blockbusters but honestly, this isn’t the type of film you go to see for its plot. If Step Up: Revolution doesn’t get your feet moving, I don’t know what will.
Be sure to check out our interview with stars Ryan Guzman and Kathryn McCormick along with dance choreographer Jamal Sims!