Review of Step Up: Revolution

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The fourth film in the dance themed Step Up series, directed by Scott Speer and produced by Step Up 3D director Jon Chu. Emily (Kathryn McCormick) arrives in Miami with aspirations to become a professional dancer. She sparks with Sean (Ryan Guzman), the leader of a dance crew whose neighborhood is threatened by Emily's father's development plans.
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Movie Review: "Step Up: Revolution"

-- Rating: PG-13
Length: 99 minutes
Release Date: July 27, 2012
Directed by: Scott Speer
Genre: Drama/Musical/Romance

"Step Up: Revolution" is a collection of clich├ęs, but it is the good-looking dancers who know how to dance that catch the eye. Although the story widely revolves around romance, it is the music and the freestyle funk dancing moves that will put you on the edge of your chair. The story begins when Sean (Ryan Guzman) meets Emily (Kathryn McCormick), a daughter of a real estate billionaire.

As a coincidence, Emily is in Miami, following her aspirations of becoming a professional dancer, when she meets Sean, a waiter at a restaurant in town. Though the two seem to come from different backgrounds, it is their passion for dancing that brings them close to each other. Sean actually happens to be a leader of a dance group called "The Mob." The group solely performs at flash mobs that are highly creative but illegal. Emily's sterling performance during a flash mob mission makes her part of the crew. However, as the story continues, things start to become complicated as Emily's dad (Peter Gallagher) seeks to destroy Sean's neighborhood in favor of a huge luxury development project.

Things become even more complicated as she cannot tell the crew that the billionaire who wants to destroy the neighborhood is her dad. As the story continues, it is clear that Eddie (Misha Gabriel), The Mob's computer nerd and Sean's best friend, is not happy with the fact that Emily and Sean are in love. He feels like Emily is taking away the bond they had with Sean since childhood.

The movie's plot accelerates when Emily suggests to the crew that they should consider using their dance as a form of protest instead of just relying on YouTube hits to make some money. Later in the movie, Sean breaks up with Emily, and, being frustrated, he leaves the crew. Emily also gets caught between her dancing dreams and loyalty for her father, who insists that she should work for him.

"Step Up: Revolution" is a fast-paced movie that easily catches the audience's attention from the very opening sequence. The very first dance piece sees the troupe incorporating many dance forms, including locking, hip hop, popping, b-boying and even some quick twerking.

Just like the other "Step Up" films, "Step Up: Revolution" is a fun movie to watch. As a parent, your teen girls might be drawn to the tale of a good girl who meets an edgy guy. There are some displays of rebellion within the movie, usually taking the form of graffiti tagging and sensual dance moves. You can also expect a bit of swearing and social drinking, but nothing major to be worried about.

When it comes down to visual ingenuity and dance, this movie is hard to beat. It is clear that the director, Scott Speer, and his camera crew know where to put the cameras to make the most of every move that the dancers make. A huge vote of thanks should also be given to the choreographers Christopher Scott, Jamal Sims, Chuck Maldonado and Travis Wall for bringing out a revolutionary mix of choreography by contrasting street-style performance with modern dance. The choreography makes use of Cirque du Soleil-style aerial stunts, hip hop, steps and acrobatic moves, bringing out raw energy and amazing style.

If you love musicals, then you will easily relate to "Step Up: Revolution" with the Busby Berkeley musicals of the 1930s, which also featured attractive people, had an escapist fare and were wildly imaginative. Fast-forwarding the Busby Berkeley musicals to 2012, then you get "Step Up: Revolution."

Some "Step Up: Revolution" critics say that the movie promotes illegal activities, but in the end, it is clear that the movie helps young people believe in themselves. The movie also easily promotes tolerance among the youth and encourages people to live in harmony. The long shots in the dance sequences, together with notable aerial tricks, make maximum use of the 3-D view, where they appear more precise and crisp.

The movie is full of energy from the start to the end and is also peppered with a lot of familiar faces. Taking its passion from the street dances and modern dancing styles, the movie easily blends a variety of style that will definitely keep you inspired and entertained. Though Kathryn McCormick and Ryan Guzman have little to no acting experience, they actually put up a nice show. With a simple and easy-to-relate-with plot, it is amazing how the movie keeps one glued to the screen from the start to the end.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars