Despite being long past the stage where "straight to DVD" should have become standard protocol, the "Step Up" movie franchise has managed to release yet another sequel.
The fourth (yes, there are three others of these things) serves up the same tired fare as the previous installments: vapid romance, tedious conflict, against-all-odds happy ending.
Not content with simply being one more movie in the lineup, however, "Step Up Revolution" decided to really go for it, dumbing the premise down to its bare bones and throwing all complexities to the wind. The rebels.
This time around, "Step Up" has set its dancers against the colorful backdrop of Miami, where a hardworking dance crew of underdogs called The Mob have been using flash mob guerrilla marketing to earn fame and fortune in an online video contest. However, they're soon forced to refocus their work to help save their neighborhood from a group of big-business moguls intent on booting them out to make way for the latest development project.
"Step Up Revolution"'s action gets piloted along by a cast of largely no-name actors who emote with all the intensity of a Disney Channel feature. Their performances are bland at best, and laughably cliche at worst. Lead couple Sean and Emily (Ryan Guzman and Kathryn McCormick) carry on with all the chemistry of two paper plates as they're puppeted around by the movie's insipid storyline and bare-minimum character development. Everyone else is merely cheap confetti, scattered around the movie en masse to distract the audience into thinking there's actually some kind of depth in its plot.
The writers phoned this one in hardcore, but I'm guessing no one was searching too hard for Oscar-worthy material. "Step Up Revolution" is a dance movie -- the focus is on the moves. And everything about the dance scenes carried this movie in a big, big way.
Each one was a visual spectacle that combined scenery, dazzling effects and absolutely stunning choreography in a presentation so flawless it makes the rest of the movie look even more lackluster. For all of its stumbles through the talking and acting parts, "Step Up Revolution" executed its most important task with precision.
Obviously, "Step Up Revolution" is not a thinking person's movie. It's literally all been done before, to the point where it feels at times like the movie is actually dancing on the grave of originality. The dance breaks are exquisite, but even they're not enough to save "Step Up Revolution" from its impending status as a write-off B flick. Taken all together, it's drivel, but anyone interested in seeing it probably couldn't care less.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Renee Lorenz
Published Jan. 11, 2013
Classic gangsters loved a good embarrassment of riches. And for a movie like "Gangster Squad," showing off is fine. But, when the swanky style of the era meets the stylized swank of the movie's own excesses, things get out of hand.
Published Jan. 3, 2013
It feels like not a week goes by without someone posting something about how Facebook's invading everyone's privacy, spying on your browser history, etc., ad nauseum. (These posts are usually made on Facebook, by the way.) I understand the generic concern over the Orwellian slippery slope, but it doesn't take me too long to re-assess and arrive back at my old conclusion: Who cares?
Published Dec. 31, 2012
Although outsiders may not see Milwaukee as a hotbed for the performing arts, locals know there's plenty of talent to go around. And, there are numerous venues across the city that proudly show off area actors, dancers and musicians. But, despite the wide array of opportunities available, Katie Rhyme and Karen Zakrzewski still felt something important was missing.
Published Dec. 25, 2012
Merry Christmas, "Les Miz" lovers - I'm about to hate all over your musical.
Published Dec. 25, 2012
Well, it took director Quentin Tarantino 20 years, but he finally got his Western ... kinda. Although it's fair to say he's been preparing his entire career with his raucously bloody shoot-'em-ups, Tarantino's time warming up has been well spent if "Django Unchained" is the final result
Published Dec. 21, 2012
Unlike most middle-aged men, Judd Apatow can afford a whole garage of Camaros and Mustangs. So, it makes sense that his mid-life crisis would manifest not with a youthful car buy, but by splurging on the production of a new movie.
Published Dec. 19, 2012
They say time flies when you're having fun. I don't know who "they" are (probably those terrifyingly upbeat "glass half full" people), but they nailed it. My 2012 is a blur of exciting times and memorable moments, most of which my lawyers have advised me not to discuss in detail. There's still plenty to talk about, though, and I've shared the highlights below.
Published Dec. 18, 2012
Well, another year of movies is (almost) in the books. Full of many memorable ups and seared-in-my-brain-forever downs, here's my take on the best (and worst) of 2012.
Published Dec. 14, 2012
Eleven years after "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" introduced audiences to the majesty of director Peter Jackson's Middle-earth, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" makes a triumphant return to the mythical land with a new trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit."
Published Dec. 12, 2012
After being tasked with putting together an actual wish list, I'm legitimately afraid of the death glare I'll get if I hand over my ultra-practical, completely un-whimsical list of stuff I want. So, I'm posting it here.