Summit Entertainment To Leave In Step Up Dance That Echoes Aurora Shooting

Earlier this week I saw Step Up Revolution, and like its predecessors it continues the formula of dancing movies, where the story is diagrammed on a napkin and hundreds of storyboards are needed to figure out the choreography of the numbers. One of the numbers involves a team of dancers (who call themselves “The Mob”) who disrupt a party involving a business magnate and members of Miami’s City Council. The dancers wear body vests and gas masks, and use gas grenades to make the crowd disperse.

Once the scene took place I couldn’t help but think of what the alleged shooter in the Aurora, CO theater massacre, James Holmes, was wearing. But considering the dancers weren’t brandishing AR rifles or pistols, coverage of Step Up Revolution has been mute – unlike Warner Bros. Gangster Squad with a scene involving a gangland massacre in a movie theater.

Here is the studio’s official statement on the decision to leave the above-described scene in the feature film:

Summit Entertainment’s STEP UP REVOLUTION is an uplifting film that celebrates the redemptive power of dance. There is a brief scene in the film in which a troop of dancers enter a room wearing gas masks as props and the dancers immediately go into a choreographed routine. Because of last week’s tragic events in Colorado, Summit immediately removed television advertising that briefly showcased that scene from the film. The scene also briefly appeared in a trailer released three months ago that the studio is no longer actively servicing. Having taken these steps, Summit will open this inspirational, nonviolent film in theatres nationwide this weekend as originally edited.

THE PULSE: With regards to the scene, tonally the dance sequence fits with the story. And its removal would definitely disrupt the flow. After all, this is a soft dance movie where the only violence is causing a scene in a public setting. They do not carry knives. This isn’t the Jets and the Sharks. All that talk about wanting to remove the movie theater scene in Gangster Squad is just a quick rush to judgment in condemning the film in a guilty by association sort of way. Even though it was originally slated for a September 7th release, instead of investing the money for reshoots the better alternative is to push the release back to late 2012 or early 2013. Thankfully, cooler heads have prevailed and that is what is going to happen.

Overall, this rush to censor films is nuts. To do so you are showing a willingness to make changes due to the actions of one mentally unstable individual, or the bad decisions of a select few. I didn’t like it when it happened back in 1993 when some high school players reenacted a scene from the film The Program (it involved laying in the middle of road lengthwise as cars drive by in both directions at high speeds). The reenactment resulted in the deaths of some of those players and Touchstone/Disney removed the scene. It has never been reinserted on home video.

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