Step Up movies are known for their trite, formulaic plots and eye-catching dance set-pieces, and this instalment in the series certainly won't disappoint the fans. What makes this one slightly more fun is the fact that the filmmakers remember not to take anything quite so seriously. The melodrama is undercut with sardonic humour, the gyrations of the plot are so obvious that the script doesn't even bother to mislead us, and the dance scenes are fantastically over the top.
After The Mob dance crew conquered Miami in Step Up 4, they moved to Los Angeles, but found fame rather fickle. When they lose another job to their rival Jasper (Stephen Stevo Jones), head of The Grim Knights, they decide to go back home. But Sean (Ryan Guzman) has nothing to return to, so opts to stay, even though it means working as a cleaner at a salsa studio. This helps him reconnect with Step Up veteran Moose (Adam Sevani), and together they concoct a plan to form a new crew and enter the reality TV competition The Vortex, hosted by the preening Alexxa (Izabella Miko). With Moose's old pal Andie (Step Up 2's Brianna Evigan) on board, they bring together an appropriately eclectic team, which they name Lmntrix. And they head to Las Vegas for the big show.
It hardly needs to be said that Lmntrix are on a collision course to meet both The Mob and The Grim Knights in the final rounds. So with no suspense in the plot we can sit back and enjoy the dancing. And the choreographers have taken the Vegas theme to heart, designing routines that are more focussed on subtle power moves than street intensity. So each successive routine looks like another themed Cirque du Soleil number, building to a climax that will boggle the mind. Fortunately, all of this is directed with a light touch by choreographer Trish Sie, so it's easy to sit back and laugh with the cast rather than at them for a change.
Continue reading: Step Up: All In Review
'Step Up: All In' serves as the fifth instalment of the 'Step Up' franchise which will see Sean Asa forming a new dance crew to enter eccentric dance competition The Vortex, after failing a dance audition. Should they win the competition, they will receive the ultimate prize of a three year contract in Vegas, however the competition is fierce, so our protagonists will have to show their best moves if they're going to win.
'Step Up: All In' will feature characters from each of the previous 'Step Up' films such as Sean Asa (Ryan Guzman) of 'Step Up: Revolution'; 'Step Up 2: The Streets' protagonist Andie West (Briana Evigan); Camille Cage (Alyson Stoner) who featured in 'Step Up' and 'Step Up 3D'; and Moose (Adam G Sevani), a character in 'Step Up 2: The Streets', 'Step Up 3D' and 'Step Up: Revolution'.
Trish Sie has directed the film; her first full length directorial, having only previously directed the short film 'Long Socks' and Ok Go videos 'Here We Go Again' and 'OK Go: Oh No Special Edition'. Sie has previously done choreography for the 2011 films 'God Bless America' and 'The Future', and she also won a Grammy for her work on 'Here We Go Again'. The film is produced by Adam Shankman and Jennifer Gibgot, who have produced all the previous 'Step Up' films.
Continue: Step Up: All In Trailer
The stakes are high in the latest addition to the 'Step Up' franchise as characters both old and new unite once more for possibly the biggest dance competition of their lives. They must work together if they want to win an epic dance battle to be awarded with their own show, and following dramatic events in 'Step Up Revolution', all Sean wants in the dance community is peace. Unfortunately, that proves to be a little more difficult than he first thought when he reintroduces Andie into the mix and the pair of them find themselves at loggerheads over who's going to be the crew's leader. With tensions within the group and the pressure to go all in and pull some incredible moves out of the bag, will they hold themselves together long enough to win that chance in a lifetime show?
Continue: Step Up: All In Trailer
And through sheer exuberance, it almost gets away with it. It's not good, but it's a lot of fun.
Luke (Malambri) runs a nightclub and dance studio out of the Brooklyn warehouse he inherited from his parents. Despite the fact that the club is packed to the rafters every night, he's behind on his mortgage and really needs to win the upcoming World Jam to save his crew's home. So he challenges his team, the Pirates, to go for it against their arch-rival competitors. New members include Natalie (Vinson), who sparks a romance with Luke, and Moose (Sevani), who neglects his university studies and his pining best pal Camille (Stoner) to dance in secret.
Continue reading: Step Up 3D Review
Jon Chu directs the third instalment to the Step up franchise. Following a similar plot to the previous two films, Luke is the leader of a team of street dancers from New York City and he's about to receive two new recruits, a freshman called Moose and a beautiful and talented dancer called Natalie. Together the troupe find themselves enrolled in the World Jam, the biggest breakdancing competition the world has to offer. The newly formed team must quickly bond and learn the tightest routines they can in order to impress and hopefully change their lives forever.
Continue: Step Up 3-D Trailer
It helps that Step Up 2 is a sequel only in the sense that it, too, is about dancing teens -- so really, you could make a case for You Got Served, Stomp the Yard, Save the Last Dance, and all the rest being a single franchise with more titles than Freddy or Jason, and closing in on James Bond. The near-complete turnover both in front of and behind the camera is healthy for the energy levels, and fans of this type of movie, too, who at least deserve more than the heavy-handed romance of the original (and I use that term loosely).
Continue reading: Step Up 2 the Streets Review