Title: Step Up All In
Director: Trish Sie
Cast: Ryan Guzman, Briana Evigan, Adam G Sevani
Rating: 2.5 stars
If you go to a theatre expecting nothing but a great dance flick with an equally sloppy storyline, Step Up All In is just the kind of time-pass you are looking for. This is the fifth installment of the Step Up franchise (the first one in 2006 marked the launch of Hollywood A-lister Channing Tatum) and has since become a money-minting machine in its own right. This one, too, is driven by the tried and tested formula that is cast in stone for all Step Up films: Take some really slick and stunning dance sequences, add some horrible acting to it, with a half-hearted attempt at weaving it all together in a storyline. On all counts, this one is too similar to everything we've seen previously in this identical family of quintuplets.
If you still believe that this movie just might have something different, here's what it's about. Sean (Ryan Guzman) continues to be the protagonist of the story whom we last saw in the fourth part (Step Up Revolution). His days of the flash mob are past and he now wants to live a life of ‘stability’ (great career choice, dude!).
Without a group of his own because everybody deserted him when they failed to make their presence felt in the dancing world, Sean's problems also include piling bills and loneliness. He meets an old and very familiar Moose (Adam Sevani, whom we first saw in Step Up 2: The Streets). They team up for The Vortex, a reality dance TV show (hosted by someone who looks like the love child of Potter universe’s Rita Skeeter and Hunger Games’s Effie Trinket) which will give them their own show for three years (ahem! An opportunity for ‘stability’… So what if it is just for three years). Also read: Remo's ABCD is India’s answer to Step Up
Perfect chance to call up dancers from all the half-a-dozen movies from the franchise (except Channing Tatum of course) for the very clichéd ‘ultimate dance challenge’. The team has several fall-outs and fall-back ins, all the while crying the same old cry for pity at the sucky life of American dancers and choreographers with the same old catharsis that comes with an MTV Award winning kiss.
The storyline now dealt with, it’s time to appreciate the dancing. Without doubt, it is amazing. The choreography and the camera work more than make up for the abominable interstices of acting in between. Be it Andie (played by Briana from Step Up 2) or Moose or the twin brothers who move like they are shadows of each other. The one new character worth mentioning was the perverted Cha-Cha trainer Chad who busted some really crazy moves to show the others what he’s got. As for the dancing, the movie has no chink in the armour.
It is best if you have already seen one of its four siblings in the past so that you know what you are in for before you go for this one. If not, you have only yourself to blame if you expect any form of story or purpose from it.