Runtime: 1 HR, 39 MIN
Director: Scott Speer
Writers: Duane Adler, Jenny Mayer
Starring: Kathryn McCormick, Ryan Guzman, Misha Gabriel, Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss, *a bunch of So You Think You Can Dance finalists, and Peter Gallagher
It must be an even numbered year as audiences are once again being treated to another Step Up feature. While not as frequent or gory as the once yearly Saw films there’s something just as horrifying and shocking lying in wait for the audiences of discerning taste.
The city of Miami is on the edge of their seat by the actions of The Mob. No, it’s not organized crime; it doesn’t involve deadly drugs or human trafficking either it’s something much more sinister… dancing… illegal dancing. The Mob is trying to win a YouTube prize for channel views and adds a new female dancer they think can put them over the top. Unfortunately she’s the daughter of a rich hotel tycoon that’s planning to bulldoze The Mob’s home turf. Can dancing save their home?
That synopsis is shorter, more interesting, and far less painful than actually watching Step Up Revolution in either the two or three dimensions its offered in. Much of the cast is made up of So You Think You Can Dance finalists which means that most of the cast can fold themselves into a pretzel and do the splits but also recite their dialogue like they’re in a used car commercial.
“Enough with performance art, it’s time for protest art.”
The film’s ‘Occupy Dance Street’ is handled with all the grace of a dancer with two left feet. You’re meant to believe these kids are penniless dancers trying to win a huge cash prize that then change their strategy to fight corporate America to save their homes all the while they’re spending an almost endless amount of cash on their dance routines. I’ve never seen such well funded street kids that have access to dozens of highly customized cars, pyrotechnics, laser light shows, and and other specialty equipment. Step Up Revolution would like to make you believe the dancers are part of the 99% with their busboy jobs at the country club but in reality they’re much closer to the 1%.
Continuing the theme of lazy film making the screenwriters don’t even bother to hide the fact that they ripped off much of the boy/girl story from Dirty Dancing. Unfortunately, they did however leave out the botched coat hanger abortion scene but maybe that will be in the Blu-ray’s deleted scenes.
Obviously needing to make a couple mortgage payments veteran actor Peter Gallagher makes an embarrassing appearance as the evil and misguided hotel tycoon from Cleveland, Ohio that’s out to destroy The Mob’s home turf but also his daughter’s dream of being a dancer. This is a new low point for Gallagher who has appeared in a lot of shitty films over the years including a direct to video Center Stage sequel but this takes the cake simply because it will be seen by a wider audience. The film makers did take proper precautions for his appearance in the film by trimming his eyebrows back so not to interfere with the 3D effect.
Step Up Revolution is a terrible film; it has a terrible story, terrible dialogue, and terrible ‘actors’. It does feature some mildly entertaining dance sequences but even those were marred by the lingering questions of “Why does the sun keeping rising and falling in the same sequence” or “Wow, it’s really convenient that the girl wore cheer leading spanx just in case there was an impromptu street dance.” If you happen to enjoy the other Step Up films you’ll likely find something to enjoy here as well but I sincerely hope it’s just a guilty pleasure.