If you are looking for sizzling dance action, sexy moves and gorgeous bodies, Step Up Revolution guarantees to have your temperature soaring. This fourth installment in Summit Entertainment's sizzling dance-and-romance franchise, ups the ante with unparalleled 3D action in sultry, sexy Miami where a group of hot young performers takes to the streets to what they do best - dance!
Childhood friends Sean (Ryan Guzman) and Eddy (Misha Gabriel) work as waiters at Miami Beach's ultra-posh Dimont Hotel, owned by ruthless developer Bill Anderson (Peter Gallagher). In their off-duty hours, they lead a renegade crew known only as "The Mob", a group of cutting-edge dancers, musicians and artists that capture the collective imagination of the city with dazzling, high-tech, hit-and-run flash mobs that appear out of nowhere - and vanish in an instant.
Get a "real" job
The Mob's outlaw performances attract the attention of Anderson's daughter Emily (Kathryn McCormick), a gifted dancer in her own right. Under pressure from her dad to leave her lifelong dream behind and get a "real" job, Emily has reluctantly agreed to go to work for him unless she earns a coveted spot in the prestigious Wynwood Dance Company. But after witnessing a flash mob, she is determined to join in.
It's all about dancing and turning the art of dancing into protest art, using physical expression to make a statement, and change the world from a humdrum rat race to one filled with rhythm and happiness. There's some really incredible and inspiring dance sequences that will take your breath away; choreographers Jamal Sims, Christopher Scott, Travis Wall and Chuck Maldano have teamed up to give fans an ultimate experience that provides first-rate entertainment and spectacular action.
Dancers mimic corporate greed
The sequences at the art gallery, where paintings come to life, and a board meeting where the dancers mimic corporate greed, are sensational.
There's also a sexy pas de deux between the romantic leads (Ryan Guzman and Kathryn McCormick) that is original and fresh, and adds emotional sensuality to the Romeo and Juliet scenario.
Besides the dancing, it's a film with romance in its heart and the bonding of community and different cultures in its soul. Yes, it's about first love and the young generation rebelling in a non-violent way against urban demolition, but it never takes itself too seriously, allowing the entertainment value of the film to provide great escapism.
If you can, try to see the film in 3D as it showcases the art of this extraordinary art form, which provides an ideal platform for dancing.
If you put Dirty Dancing, Fame, the previous Step Up films, as well as the magic of choreographers like Bob Fosse through a blender, the result is this electrifying and sensational dance experience.
If you are looking for entertainment that will add some rhythm to your life, Step Up Revolution is your kind of film, and one that makes an ideal date movie.
Behind the scenes
Starting with the 2006 debut of Step Up, producers Jennifer Gibgot and Adam Shankman have created a series of ultra-popular hip-hop fairy tales that blend the urgency of the latest street dance with the romance of Romeo and Juliet. Each new chapter in the franchise has brought to the screen even more astonishing choreography and imaginative scenarios than its predecessors.
The biggest and most challenging film
With Step Up Revolution, the fourth film in the series, Gibgot and Shankman unleash the biggest and most challenging film they have made to date, packed with gravity-defying production numbers and talented, red-hot young performers. The producers have pulled out all the stops for the story of a daring and innovative group of performance artists called The Mob. Using the streets of Miami as their staging grounds, The Mob blends music, dance, visual arts and cutting-edge technology in extravagant flash mob performances that appear and disappear in moments.
"From the very beginning, it was important to me to include the full spectrum of dance in this movie," said director Scott Speer. "I believe that everyone is naturally a dancer and every style of dance is really about communicating. The Mob blends many different styles of movement into their flash mobs, including non-dance styles like parkour, which incorporates vaulting, rolling, running, climbing and jumping. I don't think anyone has brought all of these different aesthetics together in a film."
By juxtaposing the different styles, Speer believes that he not only shows how well they can work together, but also emphasises the individual strength of each discipline. "They're almost at their best when they're all cut up against each other," he said. "You really appreciate the hard-hitting hip-hop when you see it set up against the elegance of contemporary dance. That's when you can best understand how universal dance is, which is one of the most powerful ideas in this movie."
It comes down to casting
"So much of these movies comes down to the casting," said producer Jennifer Gibgot. "We got incredibly lucky with our leads. They are the heart and soul of the movie. Once we found them, we were able to tailor the dance sequences for their special gifts."
Ryan Guzman, who comes from the world of mixed martial arts, had never danced professionally before, and while the filmmakers were impressed by his audition, they were unsure that he was up to the challenging choreography. "He walked in the door with incredible charisma," said choreographer Jamal Sims. "He was a very strong actor, but he had no dance training at all. Other people were flying in from tours with Rihanna and Britney Spears to audition, and here's this mixed martial arts fighter who's never danced before."
Guzman gave credit to the film's team of top choreographers for moulding him into a dancer in record time. "I have been fight training for years, but dance training was as intense as anything I've ever done in my life," he said. "It's physically, mentally and emotionally draining. But then you look around and you see the dancers having fun, with big smiles on their faces. I could be frustrated, but when I saw that, it always lifted my spirits."
The producers had no doubt Kathryn McCormick, familiar to fans of the television show "So You Think You Can Dance," would be able to handle the dance moves. But she had never acted before.
According to McCormick, acting forced her to learn to trust in a different way. As a dancer, she has always depended on herself. "As an actor, you definitely have to drop your ego," she said. "You have to dive into the moment and listen to the person who's talking to you. Scott was an incredible director. I always trusted him to tell me the truth. I was really grateful to have someone who cared so much."
Daniel Dercksen has been a film and theatre journalist in South Africa the past 30 years and as a trainer and educator has presented regular workshops in scriptwriting and creative writing during the past 17 years.
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