To be sure, Step Up was never going to mount a critique in the spirit of Occupy since it’s a product (literally) of the forces against which the Occupiers were/are protesting against. The movie takes pains to generally promote a sanitized version of performance/protest art that wouldn’t run afoul of corporatist authorities — the Mob (the main crew of the film) leaves a signature behind each of its performances courtesy of a street artist in the film named Mercury, but unlike, say, Banksy, or Shepard Fairey, the tagging is always temporary and removable, steering well clear of anything that authorities might call vandalism, anything that might devalue property. What’s more, the film resolves in a way that depends entirely on the whims of neoliberal noblesse oblige — the Mob doesn’t aim so much to empower the citizenry as it does to affect the sentiment of the real estate developers intent on converting the crew’s preferred hangouts into a hub of renewed (read: gentrified) economic activity.And:
[This] film is about the dance, and though I don’t think that any of the big set pieces reach the dionysian ecstasy of the SYTYCD performance, they’re all arresting in their own ways. Far and away the best is the museum number, whose dappled psychedelia is wonderfully disorienting, at once expressionistic and introspective.I don't mention in the post, but aside from Kathryn (whose acquits herself quite well, I think, though I'm not a fan of demonstrative acting in the first place), Twitch, Tony Bellissimo, and Chbeeb, other SYTYCD alums who appear in the film include Billy Bell, Twitch, Brandon Mitchell (though really, if you blink (as I did) you'll miss him), and Mia Michaels. (Danielle "Bacon Girl" Dominguez also shows up and gets slightly more screen time than Billy.)
And for hipsters: M83 and Radiohead (ok, a remix of Radiohead) (also, Radiohead suck!!!! lolomgwtf!) both make appearances as well.