Tuesday, July 02, 2013

"Step Up: Revolution": the fourth installment of this series of lively dance musicals has a moral message

I had seen the first “Step UP” film from Touchstone with director Anne Fletcher with bstar Channing Tatum back in 2006, and not retained much of an impression.
But the fourth installment in the franchise, whose trademark has apparently been sold to Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment, has some real energy as a “musical”, and an important “lesson”.  The film is titled “Step Up: Revolution” or “Step Up: Miami Heat” (or “Step Up IV”). At least, the “Revolution” has nothing to do with J.J. Abrams on NBC – the power definitely stays on.

Emily (Kathryn McCormick) comes to Miami from some place like Cleveland to become a professional dancer and falls in love with an appealing Sean (Ryan Guzman), who runs a politically active dance group called “The Mob”.  Emily’s dad Mr. Anderson (Peter Gallagher – from “The O.C.”) wants her to become a respected real estate professional like him after college, and comes to Miami with the idea of gutting an old neighborhood, tossing out the poor people, and gentrifying it with luxury, hurricane-resistant condos.  Emily is caught in the middle.

But “The Mob” takes to the streets, not only organizing “flash mobs”, but hacking into Anderson’s computers (rather in the spirit of Anonymous), and sabotaging his public presentation (for investors) with radical messages, and then attacking a public gathering with a wild demonstration – plenty of opportunity for song and dance.  Emily wants to join "The Mob", not exactly as a pun. 

A lot of the music sounds familiar from discos these days – there is plenty of rap and hip hop, and some other music that is a little more 90s-like.  (I didn’t realize so much of what’s cool on dance floors on Saturday nights comes from this movie.)  There is even a little classical music, from a Mozart Quartet and the iconoclastic Shostakovich Quartet #8  (see Drama blog, June 2, 2013), which is a very politically charged work in Soviet history.    

The phrase “step up” has other moral significance.  It refers to something a democratic society has to expect every person to be able to do, sometimes.  You know the occasion when you see it.
The official Facebook site is here.


The 2012 film can be rented on YouTube legally for $3.99 (that’s pretty quick availability this way). The DVD is available from Netflix, but not instant streaming. 

Picture: Boca Raton. FL, my trip, Nov. 2004.  

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