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The Underrated Dance Film That's Killing It On Netflix

Let's face it, life has not been the easiest for any of us in the last year, and most of us have a limit on how much harsh, "too real" media we can consume. Movies about diseases? No, thanks! A serious exploration of wealth inequality? That's a hard pass! But a movie where pretty people dance? Now we're talking!

There are a lot of great dance movies out there, but few have spawned quite as many sequels as Step Up. There are five films in the main series with an international film on top of that. If you've never heard of the Step Up franchise, the first film from 2006 is best described with the following question: What if in Good Will Hunting, Will Hunting has dance moves instead of complex equation skills? As you might expect, a film as serious as that requires the right lead, and who should lead as the Will Hunting-esque Tyler Gage but a very young Channing Tatum.

And as much as we could talk about the future Magic Mike, the big surprise is that it's not the first film in the franchise but the fourth that's grabbing so much attention on Netflix right now. So let's talk about Step Up Revolution (aka Step Up 4: Miami Heat), inspect what's got people so into it right now, and see if it's a movie you might want to check out for your own mental health, too!

Dancing, saving community, YouTube, and more dancing

Step Up Revolution is many things. If you've got the technology for it, it's one of Step Up's 3D ventures. It's also a reality star vehicle (more on that later). But more than anything, the film marries the joy of being able to go outside and dance along with something we actually talked about avoiding earlier — wealth inequality! Yes, believe it or not, Step Up Revolution takes on the issue of wealthy landowners destroying the culture of community through the power of dance.

The elevator pitch is this: Sean Asa (Ryan Guzman) falls in love with Emily Anderson (Kathryn McCormick) whose father Bill (Peter Gallagher) is planning to demolish a strip of land that is both Sean's home and a community hub. Together they team up with a dance squad called "The Mob" to build online clout and raise support to save the strip. Not to spoil it, but, yes, this is a movie where the day is saved through dance.

In addition to the community angle, Step Up Revolution is also about finding success through YouTube. Let's be honest here: in the last year virtually everyone you know (and maybe you, too) have either set up a YouTube channel or started a podcast, so Step Up is pretty relatable right now.

It's notable that the film stars Kathryn McCormick who many will recognize as one of the most beloved dancers from So You Think You Can Dance. Peter Gallagher is also a notable song and dance man whose recent stint on the musical series Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist was nothing short of inspirational.

In short, if you like dancing, pretty people doing the dancing, and good triumphing over evil through the power of dancing, Step Up Revolution is probably going to make you feel good. It's available to stream on Netflix now.