Review: 'Step Up Revolution'
Plot: Guerrilla dance troupe creates havoc and delight in Miami.
Bottom line: India outsources a Bollywood musical to America.
Cast: Ryan Guzman, Kathryn McCormick, Peter Gallagher
'Step Up Revolution' review: They can dance
Even more than its three predecessors, "Step Up Revolution" is the closest thing so far to an American Bollywood musical, what with its class-conscious romance, emotional melodrama, merely serviceable story and use of big chorus numbers in natural settings rather than songs to move the plot. And while dance purists won't be impressed by the energetic and athletic choreography -- the dancers have clearly learned routines but not necessarily technique -- date-movie audiences will likely want to go out dancing afterward themselves, and that's fun.
In ever-photogenic Miami, a band of young street dancers called The Mob stages flash-mob happenings for a YouTube competition in which the first group to get 10 million viral-video hits wins.
The opening scene, in which they tie up Ocean Drive in the Art Deco hotel district -- dancing on cars in an homage to the famous "Fame" scene but amped up with a background chorus of high-bouncing lowriders -- is a joyful phantasmagoria. Some stuffy types tell TV reporters these hooligans are an outrage, but the onlookers are mostly all smiles, applause and cellphone cameras.
The Mob repeats its performance art at a restaurant, a city council meeting and, in the movie's highlight, a museum, where sculptures come to life, camouflaged dancers step out of painted canvasses and luminescent ballerinas form ghostly silhouettes.
Of course, Mob co-founder Sean (MMA fighter Ryan Guzman, a natural actor) falls for Emily ("So You Think You Can Dance" tour dancer Kathryn McCormick), daughter of real-estate mogul Bill Anderson (a sensible and sympathetic Peter Gallagher), who wants to redevelop the neighborhood where the dancers live and hang out.
It's no spoiler to say everything works out in the end -- though it is surprising how gratefully, gladly and quickly The Mob sells out to corporate America. That part's not very Bollywood at all.
PLOT Guerrilla dance troupe creates havoc and delight in Miami. RATING PG-13 (suggestive dancing and language)
CAST Ryan Guzman, Kathryn McCormick, Peter Gallagher
PLAYING AT Area theaters
BOTTOM LINE India outsources a Bollywood musical to America.