Another title that can be added to the ever-growing list of films that shouldn’t exist is Step Up: All In – the latest addition to the franchise that launched Channing Tatum’s career. The series has a devoted fan base of dance choreography junkies willing to fork out the cash to see its latest entry no matter what my views are, so let me begin by saying that this movie just seemed like a long drawn out episode of Strictly Come Dancing.
All the stars from the previous films are back in this, the 5th installment of the flailing franchise, minus Channing Tatum – who is apparently too cool for this shit now. This time around the crew are headed to Las Vegas, where they’ll be battling it out for a victory that could define their dreams and careers. Interestingly enough, the film goes by the title “Sexy Dance” in France, which pretty much sums up the film’s entire plot – (or rather lack thereof) quite nicely.
The Step Up movies have a built in audience of dance junkies in the same way that the Fast and Furious flicks have a fan base of petrol heads who drive Citi Golf’s with tinted windows and Christmas lights.
The Bottom Line
The thought of sneaking into a different theater to catch another glimpse of the latest Planet of the Apes movie crossed my mind many a time while sitting through this tired, drawn out “dance spectacle”. The plot is simply a rehash of everything that’s been done in this genre before. It’s uninspiring and seems like a mere inconvenience for the filmmakers, who fumbled their way over the dialogue and story elements like a drunk person in a dark room filled with coffee tables. The only new ingredients this movie brings to the tired genre of dance flicks is it’s handful of flashy wardrobes and set designs. I felt like I was watching the world’s most boring side-scrolling platformer, where everything is exactly the same from beginning to end, except in every stage there’s a slight change of scenery.
Even one of the film’s more popular characters seems like he’s getting tired of this bullshit as he groans: “Does everything have to end in a big, giant dance battle?” It’s not a clever, or self-referential line at all. In fact, it comes off more like a cry for help from an underwhelming actor, stuck in the most hellish film franchise of all time begging for an end to his – and the audience’s misery.
The paper thin characters all seem to be able to hold their own on the dance floor, although a lot of the editing is done in such a way that one is never quite able to see which crew is performing better than the other (in case you actually gave a crap). The 3D is underwhelming and is simply an added gimmick slapped onto the poster to try and coax people into the theatre.
If you are a fan of the franchise, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy the elaborate set pieces, but it all just felt rather been-there-done-that to me. In short – if you’re looking for a compelling story and good acting, look elsewhere. This is just another dance flick and brings nothing new to the tired genre.