A "Revolution" worth witnessing

July 31, 2012, 1:33 p.m. | By Urvi Banerjee | 8 years, 8 months ago

The latest "Step Up" film takes a huge step up

Dance becomes a movement in the fourth installment of the "Step Up" series. With its captivating choreography, awe-inspiring effects and heartfelt acting, "Step Up Revolution" promises to stun existing fans of the franchise and newcomers alike. Although the film echoes the storylines of previous installments, the more grown-up feel of this movie and its featured type of dancing—flash mobs—brings something new to the mix.

The movie follows Sean (Ryan Guzman), a waiter who dreams of winning a sponsorship contest with his dance crew, which specializes in flash mobs. He soon meets Emily (Kathryn McCormick), the daughter of a rich businessman and an aspiring professional dancer. Emily begins performing with Sean's crew to give her dancing the necessary inspiration, while at the same time helping him gain more YouTube hits. But as the characters fall in love, they receive devastating news: Emily's father is tearing down the crew's neighborhood to build a new development. What began as performance art turns into protest art as Sean and Emily risk ruining their dreams to stop the construction.

While its premise of boy meets girl from a different background is characteristic of all the "Step Up" films, the latest installment looks at a more adult perspective. Rather than a high school or college setting, characters struggle in terms of their careers, with Emily's fight against the business position her father has in mind for her and Sean's struggle for money so he can quit waiting. The result is a movie that draws not only teenagers but adults as well.

The dancing is what makes the film truly stand out, however. From the streets of Miami to fancy restaurants to business galas, the flash mob sequences are as stunning as their locations are diverse. An incredible mixture of hip hop styles, such as b-boying, digits and popping and locking, will wow the audience. This is especially the case when combined with effects such as bouncing cars, costumes involving gas masks and hair-raising stunts. But "Step Up Revolution" proves that quieter moments can be equally intense, with the delicate beauty of Emily's contemporary dancing sure to awe.

Photo: Sean and Emily meet at a beachside dance and later fall in love.

The stellar soundtrack only adds to the dance scenes, featuring heavy beats for flash mob sequences and soft croons during contemporary scenes. Lighting also makes the dancing memorable; the neon lights against a black backdrop during the museum flash mob promises to mesmerize viewers.

Though the dancing is excellent, the movie could not have been as big of a success without the realistic portrayals by the actors. Guzman's likeability as charming and dedicated Sean is a constant throughout the film and the chemistry between the protagonists—especially in their final duet together—is unquestionable. Fans of the previous films will also enjoy the return of popular characters such as Moose and Jenny Kido.

The solid performances, incredible dancing and complementary effects make "Step Up Revolution" a must-see hit of the summer.

"Step Up Revolution" (106 minutes) is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, sexual content, language and drugs and alcohol. Now playing at theaters everywhere. 3D at selected theaters.

Tags: dance Kathryn McCormick Moose movie Ryan Guzman Step Up Step Up Revolution

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