Six years ago a film called Step Up came to the big-screen. It launched the career of its stars, and introduced me to the beauty of dance. Three squeals later, I did wonder why filmmakers would continue to try and re-capture the magic of that film. More compliments go to this fourth part but it still lacks the same sparkle.

Step Up: Revolution (2012) Film Review

Best friends since childhood Sean (Ryan Guzman) and Eddy (Misha Gabriel Hamilton) co-found “The Mob,” a dance group of elaborate flash mob. Its purpose is to give voice to the people who cannot place in schools. Things begin to change when Sean meets the pretty, Emily (Kathryn McCormick). They discover both have an intense love of dance but Emily’s focus is on getting into a prestigious dance company. She has technique but she lacks the passion and creativity to carry it off. Hoping to inspire her style, Sean invites Emily to his latest dance, which leads to Emily to want to be part of the group.

Coinciding with Emily’s participation, her father, a wealthy businessman (Peter Gallagher) makes plans to build a new resort in their historic neighborhood.

FILM REIVEW | ‘Step Up’ (2006): See A Modern Romance in the World of Dance
‘STEP UP: REVOLUTION’ (2012). The fourth film in the Step Up franchise takes place in Miami. All review text © Rissi JC

Originality is hard to capture when you re-visit the same concept more than once. Fresh voices (and faces in front of the lens) give this one something new. Newcomer script writer Amanda Brody (or whoever makes the choice) is wise to move the location to the sunny beaches of Miami. It’s a real boast to the morale of the franchise and in a sense “tricks” us into seeing it in a new way.  First-time director Scott Speer is also behind the camera and overall, the film works much better than the two titles in-between.

There’s kind of mirror personalities for each of these films. Only, in this case, it’s Sean who comes from “wrong side of the tracks” and Emily is the wealthy heiress who bucks everything her father wants. Admittedly, I do think this pair is cute together; I like how self-assured Sean is, he doesn’t let Emily’s position intimidate him, and that’s refreshing. It makes rooting for them easier before everything crashes in the usual I-hate-you-don’t-speak-to-me-ever-again break up. (Is there a movie that doesn’t do this!?) Also fun is Ryan and Kathryn are dancers; fans might even recognize her from So You Think You Can Dance?

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‘STEP UP: REVOLUTION’ (2012). The fourth film in the Step Up franchise takes place in Miami. All review text © Rissi JC

To the untrained eye, the choreography is clever and a stunning exhibit to watch. The hip-hop style of dance is an unattractive mess, it’s crass and unusually sexualized (in a very NON PG13 way). Mixed in are some of the more controlled styles of ballet and contemporary which is gorgeous. Filled with high energy dance numbers, the two best involve a Thomas Crown Affair-like idea with the dancers using sharp movement that synchronizes talent. In the end, Step Up: Revolution still doesn’t edge out my favorite of the bunch. When the dancing is classy, it’s hard to knock it but sadly, too much of it looks out of control and messy.

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You can find Step Up: Revolution digitally on Amazon Video

CONTENT: Dozens of dancers dress inappropriately in sheer tops and low cut dresses that show cleavage. Most all of the dance moves are overtly sexual in nature. Minor profanity is used a time or two, and Emily often argues with her father over her future. Rating is PG13.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. I haven't seen any of the Step-Up movies, mainly because of the sensual dancing. Since I lead praise and worship dancing at my fellowship, I try not to fill my head with the inappropriate moves. Hehehe…

    Dancing, though, really is an art. :-D

    1. I LOVED Step Up, Rosie. It was enchanting and wholesome in its romantic notions even if the dancing become a bit sensual at times. The three sequels haven't touched the "original" movie though both my mother and I agreed, this one came the closest!

      Aw! That's neat that you lead something at your church – I've helped with children's programs but haven't been involved in years now.

  2. You are so right! Step Up #1 really was fantastic, there was chemistry and magic in that movie! Step Up 2 was a pretty decent follow-up for me, but 3D & Revolution were completely stale and empty! But I gave them a try just because I love watching dance so much! :)

    1. I happened to see Step Up by chance basically and can still remember how "magical" it was. As a result, it's still one of my very favorite romances, Kellie. Both my mother and I liked this one better than the middle two titles but it did not re-capture that same feeling. I say, four is three too many squeals. :D

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