The review in this post is the unedited copy of the version published in our film review column ‘Animadversion’ in Images on Sunday (Dawn Group of Newspapers) August 12, 2012. Links to the published copy is at the end of the post.
Singin’, Dancin’, Much Romancin’
By Farheen Jawaid
“Step Up”, the continuously returning series of dance, music and no plot, bounces back with its fourth part, Revolution. While the series was never big on plot and storytelling, this one keeps close to pedestrian imagination with two trending gimmicks: YouTube and Flash Mobbing.
Sean (Ryan Guzman), with Channing Tatum like charm and features, is a waiter in hotel. He lives with his sister and niece and leads a flash mob called, well, MOB. He and his troupe aim to get a chance to hit big with a viral video. How do they achieve that? As a flash mob, they pop out from crowds and start dancing to awesome background music with choreographed precision.
Their act, which opens the movie, borderlines to a public disturbance charge (they did stop traffic and dance over people’s car hoods, and some of those people could be in an emergency to get somewhere).
Sean finds love in contemporary dancer Emily Anderson (Kathryn McCormick of "So You Think You Can Dance" fame). Her daddy (Peter Gallagher) is the rich developer who has plans to tear down and redevelop the area Sean and most his troupe reside along with their Pop Tate-like hangout. Sean and co demonstrate protest through their flash mob routines between the first and second half of the unimaginative screenplay by Amanda Brody that’s executed with insipid direction from Scott Speer.
Speer’s only redemption comes from the movie’s dance routines which are handled with semi music video approach. The acting by the principal cast is abysmal but it is forgivable as it’s a first feature for most of the film’s actors. The cast is good at what it does best – and that is dance. The film files high, especially during the protest routines in the office and the films climax.
While the dancing itself is nothing like Step Up 3D, it will still get your attention. Keep eyes open for cameo of some franchise alumni’s. It may be the only saving grace this movie has.
Released by Summit, “Step Up Revolution” is rated PG-13. Expect a lot of human bodies pulsating to the beat of the music.
The published version is at: http://dawn.com/2012/08/12/animadversion-dirty-rotten-savages/
And it looked like this in the paper: