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Step Up Revolution a.k.a. Step Up 4

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... a.k.a. Step Up 4volution.  That should have been the movie title.

As much as Step Up 3D was a pleasant surprise last summer, this is as big of a letdown.  Where its predecessor was ahappy-go-lucky take on the dance film and well-done, this movie misses.

This movie is not just "dance films are all terrible" level of bad, this is an amazingly horrible film, even for a dance film.  Dance films get a lot of leeway for plot, because, well, most dance films have no plot to speak of, but that's not why people go see them.

So why is this movie so bad?  There's enough that I must resort to a bulleted list out of necessity.

  • The plot is laughably bad.
  • The opening monologue is derivative pablum.
  • The first major character development takes its artistic inspiration from Corona commercials, complete with beach, vapid women in bikinis, and cold ones.
  • The dance camerawork is sloppy.
  • All the characters have less personality than a paper bag.
  • Stereotypes abound in racial, artistic, and gender forms.
  • The motivation for the characters is nebulous.
  • These internet-savvy-whippersnappers talk like SEO robots.
  • The ending of the movie is completely unbelievable, as the antagonist changes his mind because gosh darn it, these people danced really well, despite the fact that he still has a pending legal case against them.
  • The choreography has only one speed, and gets boring quickly.
  • The heist aspect of the movie is completely implausible.
  • The movie cashes in on the occupy movement without having the slightest idea what the movement is about.
  • They can't even get the sports hats right, as the Miami Marlins are apparently still the Florida Marlins in this world.
  • Any real difference that dance can make is swept under the run in favor of a not-so-tidy narrative.

The coup de grace is the ending.  The plot, in a nutshell that is more than enough to contain the subtlety of this story, is that there's a real estate baron moving in and buying up the land to put up a new hotel.  This dance company decides that it's going to harness the power of the people, and fight the corporations.  Well, somehow they dance convincingly enough that Mr. Big Bad CEO changes his mind, and then the dance company also makes it out okay because...

...

...

NIKE IS GOING TO SPONSOR THEM.  Folks, I can't make something like this up.  After selling the audience a not-very-convincing anti-corporate storyline, with the protagonists apparently motivated to stick it to the man, this same rebellious dance company sells out at the first opportunity, with not even a backward glance.  Once you're on the corporate gravy train, who cares about anything else?  Principles are for poor people!

Welcome, Step Up Revolution, to the top ten worst movies I've seen in theaters.

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