“Step Up: All In” is the fifth instalment of the Step Up franchise. Perhaps in a very wise move, the movie executives left out the number in promotional material of the movie so we’re not reminded of how many of these movies we’ve seen. So, “Step Up: All In” is another dance movie. While no one in their right mind actually watches these movies for the plot, you can’t really have a movie without one.
What’s It All About: This movie picks up right where “Step Up: Revolution” left off. Sean Asa (Ryan Guzman) from “Revolution” is now in Los Angeles, with his crew “The Mob”, struggling to make ends meet as a professional dancer. The crew eventually decides to leave LA… leaving Sean alone. When Sean learns of a competition known as “The Vortex”, he turns to fan favourite character Robert “Moose” Alexander III (played by now grown up Adam Sevani) who introduces Sean to Andie (Briana Evigan reprising her role from Step Up 2: The Streets). With Moose pulling in a bunch of characters from the old movies, they all form a new crew, “LMNTRIX” to compete in “The Vortex”, where the prize of a 3-year residency at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas awaits.
What we love:
Dance Choreography: So yeah, basically “Step Up: All In” is an all-star game featuring some of the franchise’s best and most loved characters from the past, with the exception of its biggest star, Channing Tatum. Not that the characters really matter anyway, as the movie can be best described as a machine that performs at peak efficiency when it in the middle of one of its spontaneous dance offs. Showcasing its slick choreography, sweet dance moves and some pretty great looking 3D… “Step Up: All In” delivers in that regard.
Not so cool:
Unconvincing plot/formulaic: What happens when they’re not dancing though? After all, even musicals don’t sing themselves the whole way through. (Unless it’s “Les Miserables” or “Sweeney Todd”) The movie does attempt to chronicle the struggles of wannabe professional dancers… however, that attempt is let down by a number of things. Whenever the dancing stops, the movie falters. The plot descends into rather generic dance together until you fall in love fluff and the still absurd manner of solving beefs through dance battles. It all feels pretty laughable whenever a dance sequence isn’t in play. The usual flaws of movies such as “Step Up” gets intensified here, with bad acting, subpar dialogue and the involvement of way too many characters making for a rather unmemorable experience.
So yes, as expected… “Step Up: All In” isn’t a very well rounded movie. It does what it’s supposed to do exceedingly well… but is it enough? The freshness of watching awesomely choreographed dance moves on a big screen is lessened dramatically in this fifth instalment of the franchise. Perhaps, it’s time for “Step Up” to take a practice break or two.