Step Up Revolution
Look out, one percent – you’re about to get served. The popping and locking heroes of this fourth Step Up movie (the second in 3D) speak truth to power the only way they know how: by busting hot dance moves in the face of stuffy old white guys. Introduced like the members of a heist squad – everyone has a special skill, ranging from parkour to remixing – these guerrilla performers invade public and private spaces, staging synchronised routines on escalators and restaurant tables. Initially in it for the YouTube hits, the aptly named Mob gains a spark of righteous discontent from a classically trained ringer (Kathryn McCormick). “It’s not okay to make art for fun any more,” she chirps, rallying the troops to take on her real-estate mogul father (Peter Gallagher), who has the very 80s-teen-comedy plan to tear down a cosy Miami neighbourhood and erect high-rise condos in its place.
The film’s appropriation of Occupy sentiments is cynical, especially given the role Nike plays in the feel-good finale. The plot, too, is pure boilerplate, with the filmmakers concocting a generic romance between McCormick’s preachy rich girl and Ryan Guzman’s hunky poor boy. Yet the draw of this franchise has always been its fancy footwork and the set pieces here – stuttering, herky-jerky spectacles of impassioned movement – are pretty extraordinary. The climactic number suggests a stereoscopic, MTV-sanctioned remake of An American in Paris; unresolved conflicts magically resolve themselves through expert choreography. Why protest?
From Time Out Chicago
Dir Scott Speer, category IIA, 99 mins, opens Jul 25