STEP UP: Revolution
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Dukes
“Step Up Revolution” begins with a shot of a DJ named Penelope (Cleopatra Coleman) strolling down the street with a big suitcase. A bunch of cars pull up at once, and as one of the drivers honks a particular signal, the cars block traffic, Penelope opens her suitcase to reveal a huge set of speakers, and a bunch of dancers run out in the street. They jump on top of the cars and start busting out a crazy hip-hop routine. While they dance, a graffiti artist sets up three or four huge panes of glass and starts spray painting. All the onlookers point and stare and take videos on their cameras. One of the flash mob members records the performance with a camera hidden on his fake hot dog stand. When the dance ends, the dancers jump back in their cars and speed away, leaving a huge graffiti sign that says “The Mob."
The Mob is all over the news for their crazy performances. Sean (Ryan Guzman) shows his little sister the latest video. He is the head of The Mob, and they are entering their videos in a YouTube contest with a prize of $100,000. The first group to get 10 million hits wins the prize. Sean’s older sister says he needs to get serious about his future. She wants him to apply for a warehouse job with opportunities for managerial training. Sean takes the application, but he’s obviously not interested.
Sean heads over to his job as a waiter at a local resort. He works with his best friend and fellow Mob member Eddy (Misha Gabriel Hamilton). They are surprised to see that the owner of the resort, Mr. Anderson (Peter Gallagher), has hired a new manager named Trip (Tommy Dewey). Trip is a douche and clearly plans to crack down on the staff.
After their shift, Sean and Eddy sneak into the outdoor dance club section of the resort. Emily (Kathryn McCormick) is already at the club, trying to get the bartender to give her a drink. When the bartender keeps ignoring her, she walks behind the bar to make the drink herself. Sean mistakes her for a fellow employee and asks her to dance. Emily busts out some sweet moves, and Sean responds with some tricks of his own. Soon they’re in a mini dance-off. This continues until Emily spots Trip entering the club with a bunch of preppy friends. She runs off into the crowd, leaving Sean totally confused.
The next day, Mr. Anderson and Trip hold a meeting. Eddy is late to the meeting and is summarily fired. He’s pissed.
Later, Emily meets her father for lunch. Turns out her dad is Mr. Anderson, the owner of the resort. He is pressuring her to go to law school. She wants to pursue a professional career in dance. He says she needs to give up the dream if she hasn’t made pro by the end of the summer. While talking, Sean brings their food and recognizes Emily. She spills her orange juice to keep him from saying anything. Sean realizes who Emily really is.
Later, Emily practices a contemporary dance routine in one of the resort ballrooms. Sean watches her, and is impressed with her technique. Emily explains that she’s planning to audition for a prestigious contemporary company. Sean impresses her with his knowledge of the head choreographer, Olivia. Sean tells Emily to meet him later at a mystery location, and to “dress nice." Emily is noncommittal.
Meanwhile, Sean and the crew plan their next Mob attack. They are targeting a local art gallery. Penelope gets a job as a DJ at the gallery so they’ll have control of the music. The rest of the crew plots their entrance and escape routes. They plan to sneak in using “camouflage."
Emily puts on a fancy dress and heads to Sean’s mystery address, the art gallery. Sean tells her to prepare for something amazing. The music starts, and the patrons are astonished to see the art “come to life." The dancers are wearing full bodysuits that are painted so they blended in perfectly with the paintings until they started to move. Other dancers are painted to resemble life-sized sculptures. The crowd loves the dancing, and the curator decides to allow the show to continue instead of shutting them down and calling the police. Emily runs from room to room to see the glow-in-the-dark ballerinas, and all the other performances from The Mob. Finally the music stops and The Mob flees, leaving behind a huge light display that says “The Mob."
Again, Sean submits the video to the YouTube contest. Their group is climbing the ranks, but they aren’t #1 yet. Emily loved the performance, and she tells Sean that she wants to be part of The Mob. He says he’s not sure the rest of the group will go for it, especially in light of who her father is. He tells Emily she better keep her identity secret, and when she agrees, he introduces her to the rest of the group, who reluctantly accept her. Eddy is the main holdout he doesn’t know who Emily is, but he’s a little jealous of all the attention she’s getting from his best friend. He says if she wants to be in The Mob, she needs to head up their next performance.
The Mob strikes a fancy restaurant next. They sit down at the tables as if to eat, then they don masquerade-style masks and start dancing on the tables. Emily has the lead role in a sexy and sensual dance segment with Sean. The graffiti artist makes a sculpture out of forks and knives that reads “The Mob." The video artist tapes the performance via a camera hidden in a loaf of bread.
After this latest success, they head to a local salsa bar near Sean’s house to celebrate. Sean lives in an eclectic working-class neighborhood on the waterfront, where everybody has lived and worked for years with neighbors who are pretty much family. Emily loves it. She and Sean jump in a little motorboat and head out on the water. They talk and kiss until they fall asleep, floating until the morning.
When they wake, they head back to the salsa bar where they discover that the bar, the shop where Sean’s sister works, and most of the rest of the waterfront are going to be demolished to make room for a massive resort development. Worst of all, Emily’s father is the developer. Emily runs out of the bar before Sean can stop her.
She heads straight to her father and begs him not to destroy the neighborhood. He’s pissed that she stayed out all night with a bunch of low-lifes, and tells her, “How about I don’t tell you how to dance and you don’t tell me how to run my company.”
Emily is so angry that she decides to join The Mob in a protest against her father. She tells them where Mr. Anderson will be holding an important investor meeting, but she pretends she just found the information online.
The Mob infiltrates the office building by dressing in business suits and bowler hats. They pull the fire alarm, and as everyone streams out of the building, they freeze in place in the lobby to catch everyone’s attention. They do a sharp, intricate dance routine that involves bowler hats, briefcases, and fake money falling from the ceiling like snow. It is obviously a commentary on greedy capitalism, especially when the investors, including a top marketing guru, head outside and see the giant flame-breathing sculpture monster that reads, “We are not for sale.”
The Mob is excited because their performance has galvanized everyone in the neighborhood to speak out against the development and talk about how important their community is. The news channels are giving tons of coverage, and The Mob’s videos have reached almost 10 million hits in the YouTube contest. With one more dance, they’ll probably win.
Meanwhile, Emily has auditioned for the contemporary company, and she’s snagged a summer apprentice position. At the end of the summer, the company will choose one dancer for a permanent position. Emily is in contention for that position, but the head choreographer, Olivia (played by real life “So You Think You Can Dance” choreographer Mia Michaels), says she needs to bring more passion and emotion to her dance.
Sean practices with Emily to help her achieve the passion. They dance in the ocean and in front of the sunset, practicing a duet that will be her final performance for the company. As they practice one afternoon at The Mob headquarters, they pause to talk about Emily’s issues with her father. She says half-joking, “How are we going to stop my horrible greedy father?” (she actually loves her dad they are quite close because her mom is dead).
They don’t realize that their conversation was being videotaped along with their dance practice, and when Eddy watches it later he’s furious. He shows the tape to the rest of the mob, and they agree to do their next performance without Sean.
Mr. Anderson is planning yet another event to close the development deal. It’s a rooftop gala. He asks Emily to come support him. Emily does, and is shocked when The Mob crashes the party, throwing down a bunch of smoke bombs and doing a really aggressive military-style dance. They smash a bunch of the huge centerpieces and play a video that says, “Anderson is so corrupt even his daughter is fighting against him," with images of Emily participating in the business-style dance and her voice repeating over and over again, “My horrible greedy father."
Emily’s father is very hurt, and Emily is extremely upset. She sees Sean, who was serving at the event, and doesn’t believe that he had nothing to do with it.
The police bust in and start arresting the dancers. When they rough up Eddy, Sean gets involved, and they are both arrested. In the aftermath of the event, their YouTube channel reaches 10 million hits, but YouTube disqualifies them from the competition for vandalism and trespassing. Sean and Eddy get in a huge fight, and when Eddy rags on Emily, Sean punches him in the face.
Sean is super depressed. Emily won’t talk to him. He’s lost his best friend, and the development project is going ahead. Sean gives his sister his application for the warehouse job.
Eddy finds Sean and apologizes. He says they can’t give up. They need to make once last effort to stop the destruction of their neighborhood. Sean agrees. The Mob plans their final performance. They call in dancers from all over the country. They test all kinds of props.
Meanwhile, Emily performs her final dance routine for the contemporary company. She was supposed to do the duet with Sean, but she does the same routine alone. She looks very sad. She doesn’t get the job.
Emily joins her father at the ceremony to break ground on the development project. Trip, the mayor, the marketing guru, and a bunch of other people are present. They are all gathered at the waterfront near a stack of huge loading containers to watch Mr. Anderson cut the ribbon.
The music starts, and the first group of dancers appear between the loading containers. They use canes that spark against the ground to do a hip-hop style routine. They are joined by more dancers on top of the loading containers. Two of the dancers seem to leap from an insane height, and they are pulled back up by a third dancer as if he’s a puppeteer and they’re marionettes. It’s an illusion: they’re actually bouncing on a giant trampoline. Other dancers run up and down impossible slopes using bungee cords strapped to their backs.
Trip calls for the police to stop the display, but the police are actually more dancers in disguise. They shove a donut in his mouth and bust out an awesome robot routine. The mayor is totally digging the dancing. He can’t help smiling and dancing along.
More and more dancers join the fray. It’s a huge joyful celebration of the spirit of their neighborhood. When they’re finished, it’s clear they’ve won the mayor to their cause. Even Mr. Anderson seems to be coming around.
Sean pulls Emily up on the platform, and they perform their duet as the sun sets behind them. Mr. Anderson is almost crying from how beautiful it is.
The marketing guru congratulates The Mob. He tells them that he’d like to hire them for a series of Nike commercials. Emily has forgiven Sean, and they kiss as the crowd cheers. Her dad appreciates her dancing. The neighborhood is saved. Everyone is happy.