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Step Up Revolution: Movie Review

Hannah Goodwyn


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The fourth installment in the Step Up movie franchise, Step Up Revolution delivers dance moves fans will love. The Scott Speer directed film is a dance extravaganza, featuring routines highlighting traditional and modern styles.

Incredibly designed sets and choreography is, however, overshadowed by potentially offensive content. Suggestive dancing, foul language and “cheesy” moments contribute to the film’s weaknesses. It’s indeed a shame considering the masterful movement captured in Step Up Revolution as directed by world-class choreographers and a behind-the-scenes crew filled with exceptional talent.


Emily's and Sean's worlds couldn’t be more different. As the daughter of a high-powered real estate mogul, Emily is expected to take a certain path in life, one that doesn’t include dance as a profession. Sean lives for dance and is uninhibited in fulfilling his dream until his dance crew’s Miami neighborhood is under threat of destruction as plans to build high-rises are revealed. Both must decide if it’s worth taking the risk to defy what’s expected of them to save the dream and home they love.


The film's a who's who from TV's summer reality show, So You Think You Can Dance. The lead female, Kathryn McCormick, was even a contestant on the dancing competition show. Ryan Guzman, who plays Sean, isn't of SYTYCD fame, but may catch you by surprise as he has a resemblance to the star of the first Step Up movie, Channing Tatum. Their storyline is also similar to the first movie's plot: traditional girl dancer meets street dancer who helps her let loose and feel the music in her movement.

Step Up Revolution is not a kid’s movie. It’s rated PG-13 for very good reasons, namely some of the dance routines are violent and sensual in nature. Reminiscent of the ending of Patrick Swayze’s Dirty Dancing, Emily and Sean dance a very physical contemporary number in front of Emily’s father, played by Covert Affairs’ Peter Gallagher, and others.

Unlike other Step Up movies, these characters are drinking-age adults who take advantage of that fact. Scantily clad women and shirtless men abound. A plus for the film is that it didn’t present any sexual situations. The opportunity was there, but for whatever reason the film shied away from it implicitly saying that boundaries can stand even in today’s culture.

Written by debuting screenwriter Jenny Mayer, Step Up Revolution has weaknesses in its storyline. Though the plot outline is fairly solid, a few roll-your-eyes resulting moments in the script bring it down. The film’s central theme is about standing up for what you believe in, with the main fight being between a lower income neighborhood and a real estate mogul that is ready to tear down their established homes and businesses for "progress". Step Up Revolution is about doing what is right, even though it might not be what’s expected of you.


Step Up Revolution may not grab and keep the attention of the general movie-going audience, but dance (and Step Up) fans in particular will no doubt look past its flaws and zero in on its cool routines. Just the same, caution is advised.

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About The Author


Hannah Goodwyn served as a Senior Producer for, managing and writing for the award-winning website. After her undergraduate studies at Christopher Newport University, Hannah went on to study Journalism at the graduate level. In 2005, she graduated summa cum laude with her Master's from Regent University and was honored with an Outstanding Student Award. From there, Hannah began work as a content producer for For ten years, she acted as the managing producer for the website's Family and Entertainment sections. A movie buff, Hannah felt right at home working as's