And we danced. All of the fan favorites from the previous four movies are back, minus the Tatums. There’s a big dance battle happening in Las Vegas, what crew is going to get rich and famous? If you’ll forgive a somewhat questionable pun, I will say that this is a pretty big step up from the previous movie. I will give Step Up Revolution credit for trying to keep things fresh by introducing the flash mob element to the story line, but it was ultimately undercut by the fact that the director didn’t know how to properly film his dancers. If you are watching this for the story, you picked the wrong franchise, my friend; the plot is never been more complex than “let’s save the rec center”, and the real reason you watch this is the same reason why anybody watches So You Think You Can Dance: for the choreography.
Unlike Step Up Revolution, you can actually tell the hard work that the dancers are putting in here, and it is shot/edited in such a way that benefits everybody, audience included. They finally understood how much less impressive the dancing comes across if you overkill it with quickcuts and shooting it too closely. It kind of works like an action movie in that regard; you want to allow the brain the opportunity to process what it is that you are looking at, and it is more rewarding when you shoot it in a comprehensible way. Step Up All In takes it back to basics in making it a highly enjoyable dance off just like the second and third installments.
Just from the previous films you should know if this is meant for you or not. You should already be well aware of exactly what you are getting into: a laughable script, some impressive dancing and an overall good time. The drama behind it all is tedious, but in the kind of way that will give you a few laughs. I think that it could have had about 20 minutes cut out of the middle, but it’s not enough to weigh anything down. It also doesn’t hurt that you can tell that they had a great time making this, and it is infectious in that regard.
Step Up All In (2014) ***
– Critic for Hire