Emily (Kathryn McCormick) is from the right side of the tracks with dreams of becoming a professional dancer, dreams her wealthy developer father Bill Anderson (Peter Gallagher) disapproves of Sean (Ryan Guzman) is from the wrong side of the tracks, using his skills as a street performer to help his crew of expert dancers to hopefully win a YouTube contest worth tons of money. The two shouldnít meet, shouldnít fall in love, but when Billís latest venture threatens Seanís neighborhood the mismatched pair join forces to stage some Ďprotest artí hoping to change Emilyís dadís mind and stop him from doing something heíll ultimately come to regret.
Hereís what I wrote about this one in my theatrical review:
ďSeriously, what am I supposed to say about Step Up Revolution? Is it even worth writing a review? Whatís the point? Itís not like this movie has any aspirations to be the greatest thing since sliced bread, is even remotely interested in becoming one of 2012ís most important and incredibly significant motion pictures. Itís a 90-plus minute movie thatís about 20 minutes of insipid dialogue, stilted acting and goofy plot and about 60 minutes of incredible dancing. Thatís it. Nothing more. Iím not entirely sure what else there is to talk about.
Admittedly, Iíve always been fairly kind to these movies. The initial one (which helped make Channing Tatum a star) I find to be something of a minor guilty pleasure, the second even more of one. The third film was the first I didnít particularly care for, and even though the dancing was as incredible as ever the flick was so overstuffed with half-baked plot elements watching it was something of a chore. But even so, even that one I still didnít have any sort of hate for, the whole nature of the film so silly and juvenile (but in a good way) it was hard to hold any animosity towards it.
This fourth flick in the Step Up franchise is far superior to the third one. For one thing, itís idiotic plot (a group of Miami dancers engage in a series of flash mobs as part of a YouTube contest end up taking to the streets in protest when a greedy billionaire developer threatens to destroy their neighborhood to build a swanky resort complex) doesnít get in the way of the star-crossed love story at the heart of things. For another, the dancing is sensational. Better, it doesnít seem to end, the whole movie nothing more than a series of ever more impressive musical vignettes showcasing spectacular choreography and athletic dancers seemingly capable of anything.
On the actual plot side of things, I canít say I was expecting a ton from former ďSo You Can Think You Can DanceĒ contestant Kathryn McCormick and she more or less lived up to those modest hopes. Her acting chops would be well suited to some drippy CW teen soap opera, her emoting skills still in the early stages of development. But her dancing? Well, not too surprisingly, thatís a completely different story entirely, and to say she floats across the screen like a pintsized powerhouse is a decided understatement.
Sheís Emily, the well-off daughter of single-minded developer Bill Anderson (Peter Gallagher). Her love interest is Sean, a young man from the wrong side of the tracks with a penchant for staging impromptu flash mobs with his best friend Eddy (Misha Gabriel) both of whom just happen to work Andersonís posh Miami hotel. Sean is played by fellow newcomer Ryan Guzman, a former MMA fighter whoís appeared in various commercials and worked as a male model. Heís not a complete blank slate, but heís close, and itís only when heís gliding across the floor with McCormick that he manages to showcase any semblance of life.
As for the dancing? As Iíve already stated, itís incredible. Itís like producer Adam Shankman (Rock of Ages, Hairspray) keeps this series going if only to keep his ďSo You Can Think You Can DanceĒ choreographers (and former contestants) gainfully employed. To say they pull out all the stops is a massive understatement. They stage a series of numbers that get larger, more incredible, more eye-popping as the film progresses, everything culminating in a shipyard extravaganza where characters from this film and fan-favorites from the past three gleefully interact.
Why a shipyard? Why not a shipyard? It makes no sense for this climactic moment to be set here, and considering whatís at stake (Anderson is getting permission from the Miami mayor to go forward with his development, the at-risk community apparently in attendance to hear how it will affect them) it sure as heck feels like there should be more bystanders in attendance (and, for that matter, a heck of a lot more security). Yet the moment is so exuberant, so full of life, so overflowing with vim and vigor I almost couldnít help but love it.
So there you have it. You get what you pay for with Step Up Revolution, and if youíre willing to purchase a ticket, probably in 3D, not that itís necessary, chances are you wonít be disappointed. Is the movie good? No, not at all. Does it get the job done? Does it entertain? From a guilty pleasure standpoint, heck yes, and as far as rhythmic beats of glistening over-produced pop music B-movie goo goes, thereís not a lot more to sing about on my end than that.Ē
Step Up Revolution delivers exactly what it promises Ė spectacular dancing, drippy love story Ė and nothing more (but certainly nothing less). Iím okay with that. Are you?
Step Up Revolution is presented on a dual-layer 50GB Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video with a 2.40:1/1080p transfer. Both 3D and 2D presentations are housed on a single disc, and each transfer is excellent (the latter, unsurprisingly, a bit more pleasing to my eye than the former).
This Blu-ray features an English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 soundtrack as well as Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 and English Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks and features optional English SDH and Spanish subtitles. The disc also comes equipped with DTSí new Neo X 11.1 surround audio as an option for systems enabled to play it.
Extras here include:
∑ Audio Commentary with director Scott Speer and actors Kathryn McCormick and Ryan Guzman
∑ Four Featurettes
i. Becoming a Star (5:06)
ii. Choreography (10:28)
iii. Dancing On Their Own (5:02)
iv. Making the Mob (9:53)
∑ Flash Mob Index (24:57)
∑ Music Videos (8:20)
i. "Goin' In" with Jennifer Lopez and Flo Rida
ii. "Hands in the Air" with Timbaland and Ne-Yo
The audio commentary is kind of terrific and well worthy of a listen. As for the rest? Well, itís about what youíd expect, and by and large only diehard fans should give any of it more than a passing glance.
You get exactly what you expect with Step Up Revolution, and if that sort of thing is okay with you than by all means youíre going to want to give this Blu-ray, a technical triumph on all fronts, a look.