NOW SHOWING: STEP UP REVOLUTION 3-D
Directed by Scott Speer
Starring Kathryn McCormick, Ryan Guzman, Peter Gallagher and Cleopatra Coleman
Duration 99 mins
Rating PG 13
IF ever I meet director Scott Speer, I must ask him to please show respect to good dancers. In Step Up Revolution 3-D, Speer, a music video director, has made the dance sequences look like an action film. Kapow. Whoosh. Wham.
The sequences seem as if one shot has nothing to do with the next. Hello — it’s a dance sequence. And, Step Up is a dance movie, not an action flick. So, if you don’t let us see the dancing, then what are we left with? It’s not like the acting, dialogue and story are anything to write home about. That has never been the intention of the Step Up franchise since the 2006 debut, starring Channing Tatum. And, face it, no one is going to the cinema to see Step Up — from one to four, 2-D or 3-D — for the depth of character. Duh!
I get that 3-D offers the chance to show parkour, zippy taps, fierce jumps, and swirls like never before. But with 3-D, these dance moves become cartoonish.
It’s so disheartening because the Step Up cast has really good dancers, with the exception of the shirtless leading man, martial arts-model Ryan Guzman in his film debut.
I think the people behind this franchise are hung up on the idea that the leading man in these movies must have first, bedroom eyes, then a chiselled body, and then yeah, it’ll be great if he can move too.
Never mind him: From the leading lady Kathryn McCormick from the television dance reality show So You Think You Can Dance, to Stephen “tWitch” Boss as Jason, Misha Gabriel Hamilton as Eddy, and Adam G. Sevani as Moose, the good dancers just keep rolling in the credits.
But there is no one moment when you can say, ‘hey, that’s a move I want to emulate’ because you just can’t see how it’s done.
The storyline is simple. Rich girl Emily (McCormick) turns up in town, with a dream of being a professional dancer. She meets poor boy Sean (Guzman), who leads a dance crew called The Mob. The rundown neighbourhood is soon enough listed for redevelopment by Emily’s father, Anderson (Peter Gallagher, The O.C., American Beauty).
All this while, The Mob has been staging some creative flash mob-style dances to win some money for YouTube views.
With the threat to their homes and businesses, Emily tells The Mob to make a statement. Ta-da, performance dance art becomes protest dance art.
From an acting viewpoint, only Gallagher brings a measured style to his greedy developer role while dance choreographer Mia Michaels has an edgy feel to her role as dance school head Olivia.
What I like in the movie is the creative dances, flash mob-style, especially the one held at the art museum. It’s been done in real-life at art museums before, but in this 3-D movie, it has the wow factor.
You will not forget the vignettes that make up this particular flash mob — the ballet scene as part of the art installation, the dancer as part of a picture and coming out of the frame, the statues coming “alive”, etc.
That was a great watch, and the finale number is huge, with a nod to various contemporary dance styles. What Step Up lacks in heart, it makes up in cinematic technology.
The movie is rated PG 13 because there is some suggestive dancing.