By now, four movies into the "Step Up" franchise, viewers should know that it's all about the dancing so things like plot, acting and connection to the previous films take a back seat. But "Step Up Revolution" takes that to ridiculous extremes.
The movie centers on The Mob, a group of flash-mobbing Miami street dancers who tie up traffic to perform in-your-face routines. The Mob's founders, poor-but-honest Sean (Ryan Guzman) and Eddy (Misha Gabriel), are trying to generate 10 million hits on YouTube to win a $100,000 contest.
But when a developer (Peter Gallagher) intends to bulldoze their neighborhood to put up a high-rise complex, The Mob takes on the mission of street-theater protest, providing the Occupy Wall Street movement what it never had: choreography. Meanwhile, Sean falls for Emily (former "So You Think You Can Dance" finalist Kathryn McCormick), an aspiring dancer who's also the developer's daughter, driving a wedge between Sean and Eddy.
Director Scott Speer applies his music-video skills to the brightly staged dance routines. But that's not enough to overcome the movie's cliched script and laughably muddled politics, from the many uncomfortable instances of pantomimed gunplay to a "say what?" finale that negates The Mob's proletariat vibe.
'Step Up Revolution'
Opens Friday, July 27, at theaters everywhere; rated PG-13 for some suggestive dancing and language; 97 minutes. For more movie reviews, visit nowsaltlake.com/movies.