A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that, like all of the Step Up films, Step Up Revolution is a fun, fairly harmless trifle (unless you consider fantastic dance sequences featuring skimpily clad dancers dangerous), even though it's not particularly deep or memorable. Tween and teen girls will be drawn to the tale of a good girl who meets an edgy guy and wants to join his dance crew -- you can expect some displays of rebellion, usually in the form of a disruptive flash mob and some graffiti tagging, and plenty of sensual dance moves. There's some social drinking and a bit of swearing ("a--hole," "damn," one "s--t"), too.
What's the story?
Sean (Ryan Guzman) works as a waiter in a high-end Miami hotel -- but his true passion is serving as co-leader of The Mob, an underground dance crew that performs solely at flash mobs that are highly creative ... and usually illegal. In fact, The Mob is feverishly posting flash mob after flash mob online to win $10 million. But then Sean and Emily (Kathryn McCormick), the daughter of Sean's real estate developer boss (Peter Gallagher), meet cute, and they're smitten. Only problem? Emily's dad is planning to do away with Sean's beloved neighborhood to build another money-making mega-complex. Emily joins The Mob, but the rest of Sean's crew don't know her real identity. If they find out, it could be a disaster.
Is it any good?
STEP UP REVOLUTION is far from revolutionary. It's so paint-by-numbers, so bland, that it poses no danger of being a cultural phenomenon. But, boy, is it fun when the dance numbers hit all the right moves, and many of them do. The fedora dance is particularly incendiary.
But dance movies rarely, if ever, become must-sees. (Dirty Dancing is a rare exception.) You hardly remember the main characters, let alone the storyline. Step Up Revolution is no different. The dialogue is cheese ball, the plot threadbare. The stars are only passable actors. That said, they are amazing dancers, especially McCormick. (Enough other alums of the TV series So You Think You Can Dance make appearances here that it feels kind of like a reunion.) And they do make you feel like dancing. In the large scheme of things, that's not such a bad way to measure success.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Step Up Revolution's messages -- standing up for what you believe in and aiming high with your goals. How does it convey these messages?
Why do you think the crew becomes more brazen with each flash mob? How do you feel about becoming a consumer of videos made specifically to get clicks, regardless of content?
Given the crew's presumably honorable motivations, can their law-breaking be excused?
- In theaters: July 27, 2012
- On DVD or streaming: November 27, 2012
- Cast: Kathryn McCormick, Ryan Guzman, Stephen Boss
- Director: Scott Speer
- Studio: Summit Entertainment
- Genre: Romance
- Topics: Arts and dance
- Run time: 120 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: some suggestive dancing and language
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.