Any day is a good day to dance, because someone very wise once said that “Music makes the world go around”, words to live by if ever this critic has heard them and it’s a beautiful thing when the music and the movies come together to making something memorable. Available today on DVD and Blu-Ray 3D Combo Pack from our friends at eOne Home Entertainment is the latest installment in the series of dance movies that actually helped to launch the entire dance movie craze. Get ready for “Step Up: Revolution”.
Starring Ryan Guzman and Kathryn McCormick
Directed by Scott Speer
In “Step Up: Revolution” Emily (McCormick) arrives in Miami with aspirations of becoming a professional dancer and soon falls in love with Sean (Guzman), a young man who leads a dance crew in elaborate flash mobs, called “The Mob.” When a wealthy business man (Peter Gallagher) threatens to develop The Mob’s historic neighborhood and displace thousands of people, Emily must band together with Sean and The Mob to turn their performance art into protest art, and risk losing their dreams to fight for a greater cause.
This is not, nor has any movie in this series been a film about the performance or the narrative; it’s been about the dancing and while this critic went into this with an overwhelming sense of dread, the end results were actually a highly entertaining and well executed film that felt almost operatic in nature and holds up with the likes of recent documentary “Pina” and any of the dance films of Carlos Saura. The story was as basic as they come, boy meets girl, both boy and girl realize that they are from different worlds, they come together despite stress from both sides of their respective lives and overcome adversity to solve a common problem, etc, etc. It’s a story that has been told hundreds if not thousands of times but the narrative is quite smartly kept to the bare bones to focus on the visuals and the set pieces of the dance numbers. First time feature director Scott Speer keeps the dance action going at a fevered pitched as each of the individual numbers pop of the screen quite vibrantly, and much like in an operatic style, each dance number advances a key plot point of the film but instead of singing it’s a highly choreographed flash mob that delights the crowd at every turn. This isn’t high art, but it is an impeccably executed story, designed to entertain and even though every impulse in body wants to reject this film, it can’t because it was pure entertainment.
With cast of almost all dancers, judging any acting performances is moot but the story didn’t involve any heavy lifting from any of the cast and allowed them to focus on what they do best which is dance; and dance they did, but we still managed to get drawn into the basic yet effective story through the power of movement.
As always the picture and sound quality are top notch, as you will want to play this movie very loud and the special features on this combo pack include two music videos featuring the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Flo Rida, Timbaland and Ne-Yo, as well as a feature length commentary track with the director and members of the cast, deleted scenes, 4 behind the scenes featurettes on the making of the film and a scene index so you can jump straight to your favorite dance scene.
At the end of the day; “Step Up: Revolution” won’t win awards for cinematic brilliance but when you put it next other films in the dance movie genre, it not only holds up but it actually shines besides other entries in the genre.
4 out of 5 stars.
“Step Up: Revolution” is now available to rent on all formats at video stores across the country as well as on demand from all major cable and online providers. You can also find it available for purchase at all major retailers like amazon.ca and HMV.
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