Step Up: All In is the fifth instalment in the dance film franchise. Yes, the fifth! We should all just pause for a minute to reflect on this.
Unfortunately I am in no position to comment on the surprise and perhaps unwarranted success of the Step Up films as I have galloped my high horse all the way to the cinema on the opening weekend of each movie.
Surely momentum would be running low fifth time out…….
PLOT: After their success in Step Up: Miami Heat Sean (Ryan Guzman) and The Mob are now living as struggling dancers in LA. The Mob decides to go back to Miami while Sean remains in LA and puts together a new crew with the aim winning a Las Vegas residency. Luckily all the bit part players from the previous four (yes, four!) films have absolutely nothing to do and join Sean’s new crew, LMNTRIX. Sean must choreograph his team to victory while defeating The Mob and new rivals The Grim Knights. END PLOT
Step Up did not make it to film number five (yes, five!) on the basis of hard hitting social commentary and Sorkinese dialogue. The writer's only job is to create situations were conflict can only be resolved on da flow with an impromptu yet suspiciously well choreographed dance-off.
Unfortunately Step Up: All In forgot the formula and instead of giving us a 90min dance flick they gave us a 112min drama with a few dance sequences thrown in. This was the wrong move as the script was too weak and repetitive to sustain any meaningful drama or tension. Sean had conflict with every character and gave numerous "rally the troops" speeches most of which were to right the wrongs he caused in the first place.
The dancing was impressive and I would be lying if I said that I didn’t wish to live in a land were it was acceptable to dance my way through the weekly shopping trip. The problem is the set pieces felt a bit stale and there was no big wow moment.
Step Up weekend is generally the one time of the year when I find it acceptable to listen to RnB music but, like the dancing, there were no standout tracks. It could be that I am just pissed off at the realisation that I am so old the only track I really recognised was Gangsta’s Paradise but this is unlikely.
Ryan Guzman once again leads the cast and although he is pretty and can strut his stuff Guzman isn’t particularly charismatic. Luckily familiar faces such as Moose, (Adam Sevani) Andi (Briana Evigan) and the dude that looks cool while doing the robot (Chadd Smith) are back to help out. It made me realise one thing – Step Up: All In is the fifth (yes, fifth!) instalment in a dying franchise in which familiar characters return for one last dance. There was one essential component was missing. The Rock. It worked for Fast5. It can and must work again.
It doesn't seem like such a silly idea now does it?
Step Up: All In was never going to be a cinematic masterpiece and that was accepted by all those who purchased a ticket however it veered too far from the paint-by-numbers formula and became unstuck due to an unnecessary long run time. It gets 5/10. Step Up: All In is certainly not the hardest film I’ve had to sit through this summer and I will more than likely shimmy my way to the cinema for Step Up: 6 (yes, six!)