Step Up Step Up: All In
dir Trish Sie
scr John Swetnam
prd Adam Shankman, Jennifer Gibgot
with Ryan Guzman, Briana Evigan, Adam Sevani, Izabella Miko, Stephen Stevo Jones, Alyson Stoner, Misha Gabriel, David Shreibman, Mari Koda, Chadd Smith, Paris Goebel, Karin Konoval
release UK 1.Aug.14, US 8.Aug.14
14/US Summit 1h52
Step Up: All In
This time it's war! Lmntrix takes on all comers (above); Goebel, Guzman, Savani and Evigan (below).
Step Up: All In

See also:
Step Up 3D (2010) Step Up Revolution (2012)
R E V I E W    B Y    R I C H    C L I N E
Step Up: All In By the fifth movie, there's no point in expecting these to be more than corny melodrama interrupted with eye-catching dance numbers. Thankfully this script knows how silly it is, playing up the ridiculous plot and trite formula while building to a jaw-dropping dance finale that can't help but raise a smile.

After success proves elusive in Los Angeles, dance crew The Mob returns to Miami. But Sean (Guzman) sticks around, getting a job at a salsa studio and reconnecting with Moose (Sevani). Together, they assemble a new team and enter The Vortex, a reality TV dance contest in Las Vegas hosted by preening Effie-wannabe Alexxa (Miko). With Moose's old pal Andie (Evigan) on board, the new crew is properly fierce, and their climb through the competition puts them on a collision course with both The Mob and Grim Knights, led by Sean's nemesis Jasper (Jones).

Yes, every plot point is painfully predictable, including Sean and Andie's requisite love-hate banter, triumphant performances, moody fallings-out and a steady stream of glitzy Vegas montages. Oddly, director Sie opts to keep the dancing relatively understated, so it looks more like a Cirque du Soleil performance than a street-dance battle. And the scale of these routines increases up to the outrageous final showdown.

As before, Guzman is easy on the eyes but never adds much to the drama. Evigan has more spark, although neither she nor Guzman ever do much on the dance floor. Far more energetic, Savani is again sidelined with a simplistic subplot involving his girlfriend (Stoner), who herself feels sidelined by his passion for dance. There are several other random love stories, burning feuds and tortured pasts to fill the time, but nothing gains traction.

Fortunately, this episode has a breeziness that has escaped this franchise until now: nothing is played seriously, characters make fun of each other and the nuttiest dance moves are clearly deliberate. This means that the audience gets the chance to laugh along with the film rather than at it. Through most of the story, Sean is stubborn and unlikeable, pushing everyone away for no reason at all until he learns his lesson and then recites everything he has learned in a series of speeches at the end. Frankly, this is even more hilarious than the witty outtakes in the closing credits.

cert pg themes, language, some innuendo 28.Jul.14

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