I have fond memories of seeing this movie in theaters. It was one that I saw on a whim without knowing much about. Since then I’ve seen it subsequent times and bought the DVD. Thanks to this movie, I discovered just how much I enjoy the art of dance – seeing the professionals perform it, mind you, not me.
Living on the wrong side of town means Tyler Gage (Channing Tatum) hangs with peers who feed his bad habits. Looking for trouble along with his two friends, the three decide trashing the Maryland school of performing arts sounds fun – unfortunately for Tyler, he is the only one caught in the act. As a result he is sentenced to 200 hours of public service to be performed at the school. And the school’s unwavering Principal (Rachel Griffiths) is going to see Tyler completes that punishment.
For the students enrolled at the Maryland school of performing arts, they work as hard as they have to in order to achieve their dreams. Nora (Jenna Dewan) is no different. She’s a classically trained dancer who has a senior showcase coming up – the one performance that could get her recognition by a professional dance troupe. When Nora’s partner is injured, her already frazzled mentality worries over finding a replacement rehearsal partner. In-between classes she spies Tyler dancing and the two agree to give a partnership a trial run. Between Tyler’s raw talent… and Nora’s training methods, sparks are bound to fly
FILM REVIEW | Step Up: Revolution (2012)
The Step Up franchise is definitely geared more towards teenagers but I think this is the most “mature” script of the bunch. (This first one has initiated two sequels already with a fourth in-the-works.) In part what makes Step Up so good is the acting: it is really quite wonderful. I had never seen Jenna (who is a dancer) in anything beforehand but was impressed with her. She played the part very well with a quiet, natural grace. Her dancing was elegant and easy to watch. It is always fun to see Channing Tatum in another role because he plays all his roles with a certain emotional pull. This role is no different. He plays a really considerate and thoughtful guy. We can tell that as the movie goes on, he wants something better than what life has dealt him – something he can achieve with hard work if he chooses. I loved the way he treated Nora. I don’t think the story means to feel so innocent, but their relationship was almost old-fashioned in its loving romantics without all of the normal filth. Also, bonus fun trivia: after meeting on-set, Channing and Jenna are now married. No wonder they had good chemistry!
So much of the movie is, at the heart, a really beautiful one to experience. (It isn’t all just physical connections through dance.) Such examples can be found in the interaction between Tyler and his foster sister (Alyson Stoner, Cheaper by the Dozen) who have a really tight relationship. Scenes between them are both touching and humorous. Nora and Tyler take their relationship very seriously and don’t share anything more than just a kiss. (This takes an extremely rare tactic in a romantic Hollywood relationship.) The transformation everyone goes through might be hard lessons to learn, but they are lessons that will be beneficial to any – even to those of us watching.
CONTENT: Rated PG13: there is quite a lot of suggestive dancing and immodest clothing. Profanity is kept to a minimum but does slip through occasionally. One minor character is killed in a drive-by shooting impacting several people.