Starring: Kathryn McCormick, Ryan Guzman, Adam Sevani, Peter Gallagher
In cinemas Friday, August 10th
For some reason this film has been renamed for the European market. In America it was released as Step Up: Revolution but perhaps distributors thought that since we’ve had such a miserable summer the thoughts of spending two hours looking at the gloriously sunny Miami scenery would have us flocking to the cinema in our droves. And in fairness the scenery is lovely and does indeed serve as a reminder that the rest of the world doesn’t spend their lives dodging rain showers.
The latest instalment in the franchise, which launched the career of Channing Tatum, offers nothing new. It sticks to the tried and tested formula that has worked so well on previous offerings. If you liked those then this will definitely tick your boxes.
As you would expect there’s not much of a story here – it’s the typical rich girl rebelling against her Daddy and hanging out with people from the wrong side of the tracks tale that has punctuated every episode of this franchise. These movies aren’t about the story – they’re about the dancing and if you go expecting Romeo and Juliet you will be sorely disappointed. However if you take the plot as a mere bridge between dance routines this instantly becomes more enjoyable.
In this case the rich girl is Emily (McCormick – who came third on the sixth season of the popular US reality show So You Think You Can Dance), who just wants to dance despite her property developer father Bill Anderson’s (Gallagher) protestations. When she arrives in Miami she meets Ryan (Guzman) and the pair immediately click. He is the leader of a group known as the MOB, who stage dance flash mobs and are hoping to win a major competition and sponsorship opportunity. However when Emily’s father’s plans to redevelop their neighbourhood, hundreds of locals and businesses are threatened with being displaced so they turn their dance into a form of protest. However, the MOB members don’t know the true identity of Ryan’s new girlfriend and her presence threatens to potentially ruin everything they are working towards.
Dance shows have enjoyed a huge resurgence in recent years and if you like those you will love this. The bits in between the routines are as cheesy as you’d expect and the script could never be accused of being War and Peace. Step Up 4 is cheesier than Edam wrapped in brie, topped with camembert and served with a side of cheddar, but if you’re looking for a couple of hours of escapism in a gorgeous setting you could do worse than this.