STEP UP REVOLUTION (Scott Speer). 106 minutes. Opens Friday (July 27). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NNN
Let's face it. You're not expecting Oscar-calibre material from the fourth instalment in the Step Up franchise. These movies promise gyrating hips, and that's exactly what they deliver.
As dramatically inert as Step Up Revolution is, it showcases bodies that are fluid, kinetic and very often aerodynamic. The plot is unbelievable, but so are the moves. The dialogue is hard on the ears, but the beats quickly drown it out.
Stars Kathryn McCormick and Ryan Guzman, who play Emily and Sean, are bland actors but fine dancers and eye-pleasing in every way. Emily is an aspiring professional dancer with a rich property developer daddy (Peter Gallagher doing his smarm-charm routine), and Sean is the co-founder of a flash mob dying for Bieber-level YouTube hits.
They team up to stop Emily's dad from tearing down the flash mob's neighbourhood, organizing exquisitely choreographed (and logically impossible) protest routines that turn their art political.
The revolution in the title is ironic, maybe intentionally so, since the movie is all about conformity and commoditization. We're watching a franchise incorporate street dances, after all. Step Up Revolution doesn't just sell out; it does so with admirable boldness that says revolution is good, especially when corporate-sponsored.