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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Miami nice: Step Up Revolution gives us what we want

Posted by on Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 5:53 PM

STEP UP REVOLUTION
* * * stars
Opens Friday

Step Up Revolution, the fourth installment in the Step Up franchise, ditches the bogus high-culture/low-culture clash that fueled earlier installments. The story? Sean (Ryan Guzman), head of a flashy flash mob, romances Emily (Kathryn McCormick), whose father (Peter Gallagher) plans to tear down Sean’s Miami ’hood for a luxury development.

Let’s face it: Pop influences rule the arts commercially, and hip hop has dominated the music charts for three decades. That battle is over. As always, the two white-bread leads must channel the ethnic other (Black, Hispanic, Asian) in the class struggle. Guzman may have a Spanish surname, but he is virtually indistinguishable from Channing Tatum, the star borned from Step Up el primero.

Which raises the question: Four films about dancers, and no gay people (except for the unspoken homoerotic bond between Sean and his BF, Eddy)?

Having said all this, Step Up Revolution is the best entry in the series. Although people still have to follow their dreams yadda yadda, those dreams include community empowerment and art as political protest. And, rather than just a Very Special Episode of America’s Best Dance Crew, choreographer Jamal Sims stages some spectacular numbers, including a thumping disruption of a City Council meeting with The Mob in black suits and fedoras (they have a bigger tech budget than the crews from previous SU movies).

In this jittery moviegoing time, I say beats, not bullets.

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Film Details

Step Up Revolution
Rated PG-13 · 100 min. · 2012
Official Site: www.facebook.com/StepUp4.3D
Director: Scott Speer
Writer: Jenny Mayer
Producer: Patrick Wachsberger, Erik Feig, Adam Shankman, Jennifer Gibgot, Garret Grant and Jon M. Chu
Cast: Ryan Guzman, Kathryn McCormick, Misha Gabriel, Peter Gallagher, Stephen Boss, Chadd Smith, Megan Boone, Jessica Guadix, Cleopatra Coleman and Tommy Dewey
Step Up Revolution 3D
Rated PG-13 · 100 min. · 2012
Official Site: www.facebook.com/StepUp4.3D
Director: Scott Speer
Writer: Jenny Mayer
Producer: Patrick Wachsberger, Erik Feig, Adam Shankman, Jennifer Gibgot, Garret Grant and Jon M. Chu
Cast: Ryan Guzman, Kathryn McCormick, Misha Gabriel, Peter Gallagher, Stephen Boss, Chadd Smith, Megan Boone, Jessica Guadix, Cleopatra Coleman and Tommy Dewey

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