Today, my daughter and my son's girlfriend and I went to see Step Up Revolution. I must say, it did not disappoint. Well, only a little, and only at the very end.
As you no doubt already know, the Step Up movies are all dance movies. All of them involve--as most dance movies do, I guess--a challenge for the protagonist, which s/he must meet by dancing. But not just ordinary dancing: dancing that evinces originality, authenticity, and, not coincidentally, it must also be dancing that can win.
I loved the first Step Up, the one with Channing Tatum, who can dance for real, and I really loved the second one, which had no movie stars (that I can remember, anyway), but had awesome dancing. The third one, in 3D, had good dancing, but was 3D-gimmicky and mostly forgettable. This one had a name star, Peter Gallagher, playing a supporting role, and a couple of people from So You Think You Can Dance, or so I'm told. But mostly must a bunch of new dancers and some pretty terrific choreography.
The plot of this movie has the crew dancing not only to win a big competition and prize, but ultimately to save their community. There was some class consciousness and some lite critique of corporate greed, which I liked and which became thematized in the dancing. There was also some talking--aka "dialogue"--about these ideas, but the dancing was more persuasive and more articulate. The crew in the movie staged their dances as flash mobs, and that was also awesome--showing up in various public locales (some of them class-marked, such as a fancy restaurant and an art museum) to dance and film and tag and post to YouTube.
My daughter remarked as we walked out of the theater, high on popping and locking and modern/contemporary dance moves and crunk, "I resent the Step Up movies, because I always walk out of them believing that I can dance. And then I try, and I remember: I can't." We all laughed.
It's true: you feel like moving when the credits roll, and that, the people, is what a dance movie is all about.