Sean (Ryan Guzman) and Eddy (Misha Gabriel Hamilton) work at a hotel in Miami owned by Bill Anderson (Peter Gallagher). Anderson is a cutthroat business man. His latest plans include destroying the neighborhood Sean and Eddy grew up in, where they still live.
Sean and Eddy also head up a dance crew called “The Mob.” The Mob plan elaborate flash mobs, designed to get them hits on YouTube videos. YouTube is holding a contest wherein the first channel to get 10 million views wins a million dollars.
At a club in the hotel, Sean meets Emily (Kathryn McCormick). Sean finds out later that Emily is the daughter of Bill Anderson. Mr. Anderson wants Emily to be a part of the family business. Emily, of course, wants to be a dancer. Her dream is to work with the Windwood Dance Company, under the tutelage of Olivia (Mia Michaels).
When Sean learns of Emily’s parentage, after she joins The Mob, he urges her to keep it a secret. The rest of the crew would not be as accepting as he is, given Anderson’s plans, and that he has just fired Eddy from the hotel.
Emily tells Sean and The Mob that they need to use their performance art to be more of a protest art to save their neighborhood. And the group begins their movement to stop the destruction.
I have to admit, the Step Up movies are a guilty pleasure of mine. Don’t judge me. The biggest problem with a movie of this nature is that you have to hire dancers to play the part. And they employ some incredibly talented dancers. I’ve been a fan of tWitch since he was on So You Think You Can Dance. And also of Adam Sevani, since Step Up 2: The Streets. The problem is, a lot of dancers can’t act very well. It makes for a difficult movie to make. However, I have to say they did an acceptable job this go around.
The other issue is the story. It’s hard to base a movie around a dance crew. The first two installments were pretty good. The third was forgettable and should have been skipped. I have to say that the concept of a YouTube contest, such as the one proposed in this film, seem a bit farfetched. But you must have some reason these dancers hang out in what appears to be an abandoned underground bunker all day, practicing their trade. But they put it to good use by giving a voice to their people in the second half. Yes, I realize this is a stretch, as well. And one that would never work in real life. But it passes for its purpose. After all, it’s a movie. About dance. Just sit back and enjoy it.
We’ve established that the movie premise may be a little out there. So you do what you should for a movie of this ilk. You sit back and watch the dancing. That is where this series, and this episode, particularly, excel. I don’t know how these kids do the things they do, or where the choreographers come up with these routines, but to say it is impressive is an understatement. Insane skill on everyone’s part.
While I was disappointed at the lack of a Channing Tatum cameo, this is the kind of stuff they should have incorporated into the dance scenes in Magic Mike. After all, the Step Up franchise is what made him a household name.
I saw Step Up Revolution in 3D. While it did add another level to the dance scenes, I don’t know that it is worth the extra expense. I think you would do just as well to see it in old-fashioned 2D and not be missing much. I wouldn’t even blame you if you waited to watch it at home so you don’t have to admit to the world that you enjoy these movies.
The question was posed, “How are they going to top themselves after this one, in terms of tricks and stunts?” My immediate answer was, “They won’t. They should stop now.” In my opinion, Mr. Shankman and company will need to go big or go home. I’m guessing it’s time to go home. Anything after this one is likely to be a Direct-to-DVD release, and will become of the quality of any number of Bring It On or the American Pie spinoffs. And nobody wants that.