Artistic Dance, Predictable Plot

           

 So sorry this is late, but let’s face it there shouldn’t be any mystery behind the Step Up genre.  Over the last six years, these dance flicks have continued to pour out into the theaters and with today’s modern television have been eaten up by the public.  While the dancing has always been entertaining on various levels, the producers are still struggling to add diversity and that something new to keep the crowd interested.  Unfortunately for the last two installments, that new edge is 3-D, which may have you wondering, “Is this really needed for a dance movie?”  Well I’m back from a late showing to give you the scoop on Step Up Revolution and hopefully answer your questions of whether this sequel is worth a watch.

As many of you may have noticed, the Step Up series started out balanced in story, character development, and well choreographed dance moves.  However, like so many modern movies these days the story is usually sacrificed for some other movie magic that usually is overused more than the send text command on a cellular phone.  Yet to my surprise this movie managed to keep a slightly better balance than its previous two predecessors that will grab hold of other audience members.  Now I’m not saying it’s the best, but there is some character development and shallow love stories that will make Dirty Dancing fans pine over that classic romanticism.  This doesn’t mean it’s like a dance version of Twilight, no instead it’s presented more as a Romeo and Juliet theme where the girl and guys families don’t see eye to eye.  The lovers decided to hide their identities from their respective elders and instead of killing each other with swords, use their moves to help express the feelings and fight the bad guys.  Despite the nice presentation though, the story is predictable as ever and there really is no surprise about what is going to happen to whom.  I won’t tell you any details, but let’s face it in a movie like this you can pretty much guess the ending with little effort.

Of course if you’re like most fans of this movie you care less about the story and character development.  Instead the focus might shift to other aspects like dancing, music, and yes eye candy for both guys and girls.  Well this movie is definitely all those characteristics wrapped in a colorful, techno/rap wrapper with lots of flashing lights.  Fans of the previous installments will be impressed with the dance numbers this installment has.  Most of the dances have one of the stars leading a well choreographed mob in movements that would give a Michael Jackson music video a run for its money.  However, what impresses me are some of the sick stunts, the extras throw out in between that add that extra edge to the performance.  While some of these moves are rather silly, i.e. a few guys looking like they are going through electroshock therapy, there are a few flips that will make you think, “Hey he’s part Jedi.”  The breakdancing is quite good and when intertwined with the various dance styles in this movie, one can’t help but be impressed with the work and talent of these people.  However don’t jump the gun and think this movie is just a bunch of flips and protest art rebel gestures, no there is some poetic skills involved as well.  As the love story develops, there are various scenes that show off the more graceful side of dancing, i.e. ballerina moves that are elegant and beautiful.  Those who like this artistic style will again be impressed with the fluidity of the actresses involved, especially Kathryn McCormick, who continues to show us she can dance.

However what is dance without music and Step Up Revolution once again picks a soundtrack worthy of their moves.  I haven’t found out if these remixes are original or picked up from another D.J., but regardless they have been selected to help provide not only the beat for the dances, but also the emotion.  The moment Penelope opens up the trunk and hits play, you start to get pulled into the song and feel the emotions of the setting.  Although many of the songs have aggression and rage to their tones, there are a few that are softer and more trance like.  I warn you that if you don’t like Techno, Rap, or a combination of the two, you will definitely hate the music.  The tracks are uncensored and full of cursing, slang, and sometimes loud yelling, which may distract you from the art of the editing.

Finally if you are one who is going for staring at beautiful women or handsome men, well again you’ve picked the right movie.  Unlike some other recent movies, Step Up Revolution does a nice job showing off the bodies of the stars and helps get people howling without stepping over the line.  Most of these people can dance and are okay actors, but they were also chosen to rope in a wider array of audience members.  For me I cannot lie that McCormick is very cute, did a decent acting job, and impressed me with her moves.  Even Ryan Guzman and Misha Gabriel Hamilton did a nice job with their roles, and didn’t just flex their muscles and look sad for the women, as many modern guy stars tend to do.  Girls don’t worry though as there are plenty of shirt off moments to make you happy, and guys well there are plenty of bikini clad women to make you drool.

Overall Step Up Revolution may be one of the better movies of this series.  With awesome moves, fitting soundtrack, and decent acting, it’s definitely refreshing for the audience.  However it is still a dance movie with a lot of skewing towards dancing and less to story, so don’t expect masterpiece.

Here are the scores:

Drama/Music/Romance:  7.5-8.0

Movie Overall:  6.5

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