The goal this year is to try to review everything I watched. I did a fantastic job of that in the first two years of blogging and eventually it kind of fell apart as the versatility grew. However, this year, I’m trying to step up my game (no pun intended). The other night, I was sitting by myself after a long day of shovelling and cleaning and all that fun stuff winter and the holidays brings and I decided to relax so I pulled out Step Up: All In and gave it a go. For the record, if you are new here, I’ve reviewed all the previous Step Ups already. I really enjoy them even though I very much know that they are not strong in their stories but the dance routines and the music are always what I go to this for, and well, Adam Sevani’s character.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves and check out the synopsis first! 😉
Step Up All In (2014)
Director: Trish Sie
Cast: Ryan Guzman, Briana Evigan, Adam G. Sevani, Misha Gabriel Hamilton, Stephen Boss, Stephen Stevo Jones, David Schriebman, Mari Koda, Alyson Stoner, Isabella Miko
All-stars from the previous Step Up installments come together in glittering Las Vegas, battling for a victory that could define their dreams and their careers.-IMDB
After the first Step Up with a decent storyline, the rest of the Step Up movies are very much about the dance, choreography and upbeat music that keeps it going. Most of the times, the story is just extras to give it a little story in the background even if its very much predictable and cliche in every way. However, I don’t mind it at all. The point is, I went in and came out with a skip to my step and started dancing and moving during the movie and being mesmerized by the energy of the dance and the originality of the choreography. The dance talent on screen is really awesome. Step Up Revolution was all about the dancing and Step Up 2 The Streets was all about finding the courage to embrace your talent and this is where the main guy, Sean (Ryan Guzman) and Andie (Briana Evigan) respectively come together. The best part is that between these two coming together and of course, falling for each other in the process, Adam Sevani playing one of my favorite characters Moose gets a much bigger role. Except, its about how dance is hard to be a profession and it doesn’t matter how hard it is to reach your dream and how impossible it seems, you just have to remember that its what you love and not make it into something that you dread, in a way. The message is there, as it is for every other Step Up movie: follow your dreams proudly and live out your passion no matter how hard it is. Its because of this message that I love these Step Up movies also.
Honestly, Step Up All In is the first movie that does feel a little empty. It tries to focus more on a plot and giving us the story of Moose and Camille while building on Sean forgetting why he danced in the first place and his relationship with Andie making him see the light and not turn into a jerk who forgot where he came from. Fact is, the story could have been simplified much more and kept to the normal formula. I applaud the effort of trying to get something more in there but you know what it sacrificed? The amazing dance choreography that the previous installments had. In the first 30 minutes of the movie, I actually started feeling a little sad that they had taken this path because the dancing was really bad and the music was lackluster. However, once the group does get together and it heads into their training phase, it really picks up much more and the dance portion becomes much better and very engaging to watch. They still try hard to put that story in there but the chemistry between the dancers, especially Sean and Andie start to shine.
I think its time to dive a little into the cast. I’m not a huge fan of Step Up 2 so I have my reservations for Briana Evigan however, it has nothing to do with her dancing abilities. I actually kind of really liked the dancing and even acting and whatever chemistry they had between Andie and Sean. Moose and Camille (Alyson Stoner) are really great as well. They give it a lot of drama and its okay because I do like their characters even if its unnecessary. I can get pass even that forced plot but my main issue was the stupid leader of the Grim Knights and the host of the dance competition Alexxa Brava (Isabella Miko). The latter wins it for parts that I wanted to fast forward because it is just over the top ridiculous. And some of you know how much over the top ridiculous I can handle. She was just plain annoying when it could have been entertaining.
Overall, Step Up All In adds in too much unnecessary plot to try to make this dance series into something more, in turn causing it to lose what I truly love it for. However, it is only the first little bit that has that issue and when the group LMNTRIX crew gets together, the chemistry and dance choreography take a turn for a very positive path uphill and turns into a rather engaging Step Up movie. Its still very much a dance movie that is really nothing special but bringing back familiar characters from the previous installments and keeping the emphasis of following your dreams and passions is one that I truly love, appreciate and find rather inspiring. Although, unless you do love this franchise, I don’t think you will like this one a lot, in fact, you might as well go back to watch some of the earlier ones.
Have you seen Step Up All In? Are you fan of the Step Up franchise? Which is your favorite?