Step Up Revolution 3D Blu-ray Review
Although I complain about it, I’m sometimes thankful that my wife makes me watch ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ every year. Though the show can be tough to watch, I’ve gained an appreciation of dance and have learned how moving and beautiful a well-choreographed dance can be. And maybe because of that, I find myself a harsher critic of the Step Up films. How is it that a three minute dance routine, practiced by amateur dancers for six days, can have more talent, heart and soul than an entire movie that took months to film? That brings us to STEP UP REVOLUTION; an empty shell of a film that is to dance movies what a straight to video Steven Segal movie is to action films.
As with the other Step Up films, the basic story is about a beautiful, talented, traditional dancer (Emily, played by SYTYCD veteran Kathryn McCormick) that meets the rugged, street-wise Sean (Ryan Guzman). Emily’s dad is in Miami to buy up riverfront property (which is also Sean’s neighborhood) to build his next wave of hotels. To combat the evil tycoon from ruining his neighborhood, Sean and his friends form flash mobs around Miami to protest. A flash mob, for those that don’t know, is a choreographed dance in the middle of a public place. These became a fad on YouTube, where people would just start dancing in the middle of a Wal-Mart or a shopping mall and everyone would look at them like they were crazy. The same theory applies here, only the dances are much more elaborate and the city seemingly stops whenever they breakout into a dance.
There are two phases to the film; the dancing and the story. Let’s start with the story, which is essentially a rip-off of the first Step Up film, only without the charm of Channing Tatum. The dialogue will hurt your ears if you’re not careful and watching McCormick and Guzman try to act is like watching a fat guy trying to fit into a tiny suit; it’s painful and a little embarrassing. Although the idea of dancing being able to change the world is ridiculous, I can accept it for a movie like this. I did find myself confused at what the flash mobs meant, only because I tried to look at them from an outsider’s point of view. They would break out into a dance, then write “The Mob” somewhere and everyone automatically knew they were protesting real estate development? That was a big leap, but I guess it’s nitpicking at this point.
As for the dancing, that’s where the film should have excelled. Unfortunately, through the use of poor editing and lazy, meaningless choreography, it turned out to be the film’s biggest downfall. This is a dance movie, so the only thing it needed to be great was to have some great dancing. I know that Kathryn McCormick is one of the best, most beautiful dancers in the world because I saw her dance every week on season 6 of SYTYCD. But none of that came through in this film. Her costars were competent dancers, but the choreography was a letdown. Or maybe it wasn’t; sometimes it was hard to tell because the editing was so fast and choppy. These are professional dancers that I wanted to see dance.
The Step Up franchise has its fair share of fans, which is why the series has made it this far. But the fans deserve better than this lazy effort. Even the music was a letdown, which is saying something for this type of film. I think the Step Up films have potential, but they’re going to need more effort than this.
3D BLU-RAY REVIEW
Since the 3D and 2D are on the same disc, you know not a lot of effort went into the 3D transfer. I recommend skipping completely and watching the 2D version.
Video: The 2D version of STEP UP REVOLUTION looked decent, especially during some of the great shots of Miami.
Audio: I thought it was strange that this kind of movie got the 7.1 treatment, but the audio track was the highlight of the film for me. Everything sounded incredible.
Audio Commentary with director Scott Speer, Kathryn McCormick and Ryan Guzman: Not a bad commentary considering how bad the film was. Full of interesting tidbits that fans will enjoy.
Featurettes (30:36): These are broken into four parts that include: Becoming a Star, Choreography, Dancing On Their Own and Making the Mob.
Flash Mob Index (24:57): You can watch all the flash mob sequences separately here.
Music Videos: “Goin’ In” Jennifer Lopez and Flo Rida and “Hands in the Air” by Timbaland and Ne-Yo