Blu-ray Review: ‘Step Up Revolution’ Sleepwalks Through Recycled Steps
CHICAGO – The kids in “Step Up” are hardly the children of a revolution. They stand up for nothing of consequence besides the right to dance wherever they please, even if it means blocking several lanes of traffic. There’s no brand of narcissism worse than the self-righteous variety, and these shiny-faced brats have it in spades.
Of course, this fourth installment is in the well-worn tradition of Frankie and Annette beach movies where the hip kids faced off against their elderly conformists. The script by Amanda Brody is so groan-inducing in its contrivances that it’s a wonder why a film like this needs a plot at all. A sturdy clothesline upon which to hang spectacular dance sequences would be more than good enough.
Blu-ray Rating: 1.5/5.0
Unfortunately, a generously large portion of the running time in director Scott Speer’s “Step Up Revolution” is devoted to dialogue written entirely in clichés. Take the malevolent Mr. Anderson (Peter Gallagher, emulating Dennis Quaid), a businessman intent on destroying the historic Miami neighborhood inhabited by the too-cool-for-crosswalks dance troupe known as “The Mob.” Anderson may be a cardboard villain, but at least he has a soft spot for his daughter, Emily (blandly pretty Kathryn McCormick). He constantly reminds her (and the audience) of their favorite phrase they used to recite when she was little: “Emily and dad against the world.” Funny, that’s more or less the same phrase shared by “Mob” enforcers Sean (Ryan Guzman) and Eddy (Misha Gabriel), yet their bond is tested when Sean falls for…Mr. Anderson! No, just kidding—Emily, obviously. The dance sequences themselves have all the polish and professionalism that a Hollywood budget can buy, but editors Matthew Friedman and Amy Youabian chop up the moves with so many cutaways and alternate angles that the dancing is barely coherent.
Step Up Revolution was released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 27th, 2012.
Photo credit: Summit Entertainment
The best thing that can be said about the “Step Up” franchise is its earnest attempt at keeping the movie musical alive, albeit at a cheap, B-movie level. What made “Step Up 3D” such a refreshing experience was the breeziness of its charm. There was even a scene involving the hugely talented Adam G. Sevani that evoked the class of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. Sevani is only on hand for a fleeting cameo in “Revolution,” and that’s a darn shame. The kids headlining this picture are dull as dishwater, never moreso than when they pretend that something is at stake. Miami is full of voices and the “Mob” is intent on shouting the loudest. They are as fervently forgettable as the cast of “Fame.” In fact, the excruciating experience of this ultra-slick turkey couldn’t help bringing to mind the following exchange from “Mystery Science Theater 3000”: “Hey, it’s one of the kids from ‘Fame’!” “Which one?” “Any of ‘em.”
“Step Up Revolution” is presented in 1080p High Definition (with a 2.40:1 aspect ratio), accompanied by English and Spanish audio tracks and includes Blu-ray, UltraViolet and digital copies of the film. The standard and 3D versions of the film are both available on the same disc. Extras include four featurettes, deleted scenes, director and cast commentary, two music videos and a dance scene index that provides viewers with a much-desired shortcut to skip past all the boring stuff.