Mon. Mar 4th, 2024

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Film Review – Step Up All In

3 min read

I don’t know why first time director Trish Sie thought it would be a great idea to make her directorial debut on a stale franchise like the Step Up films, but alas her efforts marks yet another dance flick in the pile of other dance flicks that Hollywood has produced over the past ten years. With a sub-par plot, lacklustre chemistry between the leads and disappointing dance numbers, Step Up: All In could be the final curtain call in the weakening series.

The plot is easy enough to follow; we’re reintroduced to Sean (Ryan Guzman of Step Up Revolution fame) and his mob of dancers as they struggle in L.A. one failed audition at a time. Following an argument with said crew leaves Sean…well, crewless. Broke and desperate, Sean does the only thing one would do in that situation. Google search upcoming dance auditions. And gosh darn it you wouldn’t believe it but Caesars Palace is holding a competition to find the “best dance crew ever” to give them a show in Las Vegas for the next three years. But wait! Sean needs a new crew so they can compete and make all their dreams come true, one chest pop at a time. Cue a montage of reuniting old cast members from series past, including  head strong Andie (Briana Evigan) and fan favourite Moose (Adam Sevani). What follows is your stereotypical archetype of the ‘dance flick’: problems arise that threaten to tear the crew apart, the male and female leads slowly fall in love, an impassioned speech and an epic final dance sequence later and you’re left with the feeling of been there, done that.

STEP UP 5

If a movie about dance is going to be successful, it needs to deliver in only one very key area, the choreography. And yes, while the last dance sequence was spectacular and left me with a pang of jealousy that I was unable to move like all those hard bodied hotties on screen, one dance sequence does not a movie make. Besides the finale, most of the choreography felt recycled and unimaginative. There were no real ‘woah’ moments for me, and as the series has progressed those moments have become few and far between. To this day my favourite sequence was way back in Step Up 2: The Streets and nothing since has come close to exceeding that expectation. Blame clearly has to fall on the choreographers, and here’s hoping the next Step Up movie (because let’s face there will be another one) spends more time on the dance moves and less time on the set pieces.

The lack of chemistry between the leads does not help matters whatsoever. Although Guzman does a fantastic job pondering the mysteries of life while his eight pack glistens in the moonlight, and Evigan wears the hell out of a crop top for the majority of the film, together they had less spark than a wet cloth. It was awkward watching scenes with just the two of them together, dancing or otherwise, because there were so many cringe worthy moments that I just wanted to moonwalk the hell out of there. Chemistry is not something you can manufacture, it either exists or it doesn’t. And while they are both super talented, super beautiful human beings, Guzman and Evigan should stick with their own respective Step Up movies because it benefits no one forcing them together in dance matrimony.

I went into this movie with low expectations, let’s face it Step Up: All In was always going to be a romanticized, popcorn film. But I did expect the dancing at the very least to be amazing, and it wasn’t. At all. This is a franchise whose bread and butter is choreography that blows you away, those dance moments where you just think ‘holy shit I wish I could do that’. When you fail on that count, all you’re left with is a pile of potential and a total failure of execution.

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