There’s really no reason for Step Up: All In to even exist mainly because everything outside of some of the dance chorography was poorly done, in particular a thin story. But, for fans of the series, they might get more out of this as it does bring together some favorites, except for Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan whose presence I think would’ve been beneficial even as cameos.
Step Up: All In
Genre(s): Drama, Music
Lionsgate | PG13 – 111 min. – $39.99 | November 25, 2014
THE MOVIE – 1.5/5
Step Up: All In is the Fast Five of the Step Up franchise, that is if Fast Five didn’t have Vin Diesel and Paul Walker as this hodgepodge of the previous movies does not have the thespian known as Channing Tatum along with his now wife, Jenna Dewan-Tatum. Of course, even Tatum’s presence couldn’t help this turkey out…
Now, I should admit, outside of the first two, and I barely even remember seeing the sequel, I have not seen Step Up 3D or Step Up Revolution so it’s possible that like Fast Five, I didn’t appreciate the team-up of these characters, so with that in mind, it’s possible fans will get far more out of this addition.
The story, such as it is, centers on Sean (RYAN GUZMAN) and his crew, called “The Mob”, running on fumes after their Pepsi commercial deal that netted them $50,000 but times are tough and dance gigs are few and far between. Dejected, Sean’s crew decides to tail it back to Miami while the stubborn Sean, who is no inspirational leader, decides to stick it out in L.A.
One day, Sean comes across a website advertising a reality dance show called “The Vortex” hosted by super-diva Alexxa Brava (IZABELLA MIKO) where entrants compete for a lucrative 3-year contract in Las Vegas but with his crew gone, he recruits new members starting with Moose (ADAM SEVANI) and after brief reluctance, and some encouragement from girlfriend Camille (ALYSON STONER), he enlists some of his old pals, who have appeared in previous Step Up movies, to join in:
– Andie (BRIANA EVIGAN/Step Up 2 the Streets)
– Hair (CHRISTOPHER SCOTT/Step Up 2 the Streets, Step Up 3D, Step Up Revolution)
– Jenny Kido (MARI KODA/Step Up 2 the Streets, Step Up 3D, Step Up Revolution)
– Monster (LUIS ROSADO/Step Up 2 the Streets, Step Up 3D)
– Vladd (CHADD SMITH/Step Up 3D, Step Up Revolution)
– The Santiago Twins (MARTIN and FACUNDO LOMBARD/Step Up 3D)
And new to the crew are Gauge (CYRUS SPENCER), Violet (PARRIS GOEBEL) and Chad (DAVID “KID DAVID” SHREIBMAN). I think I got most of them and there’s more from the previous films from “The Mob” but I don’t care to list ‘em, it was a chore to even get these names together…
So, in any case, this newly formed crew, known as LMNTRIX. Well, as you can imagine, after a highly stylized and impressive music video put together in record time, and filmed in a mere four hours, they are accepted onto “The Vortex” program and riding into Las Vegas, Sean discovers old nemesis The Grim Knights, led by Jasper (STEPHEN “STEVE-O” JONES), along with his old crew, The Mob, are entrants into the competition as well. Oooh, so much drama! We get some dance, sick beats, insanely complicated chorography and some more forced drama to fill out the rest of the film…
Step Up: All In is not a complicated movie and doesn’t pretend to be anything but fodder for fans of dance shows like “Dancing with the Stars,” “So You Think You Can Dance,” and numerous others, not to mention anyone actually fond of this franchise which in itself is perplexing that’s gotten to five movies.
Save for some of the dancing, direction (by Trish Fie in her feature debut) and the choreography for them is entertaining to watch, and some of the music, the rest of Step Up: All In is laughable but for all the wrong reasons. The acting is subpar, Briana Evigan being the exception, and the dialogue is atrocious, although not sure if the Step Up series was ever known for fine screenwriting, the first one included.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.5/5
As with most Lionsgate/Summit releases, this one comes with a matted slip cover and inside contains a redemption code for the UltraViolet Digital HD Copy.
Audio Commentary – Director Trish Sie and Actress Briana Evigan provide a commentary giving some behind-the-scenes info, breaking down some of the dance sequences and other tid-bits. It would actually been nice to have a cast track but as it is, it’s a decent commentary.
All In with the Crew (9:49; HD) is a short featurette on the origins of the project and the bringing together the actors from the previous outings and contains interviews with the cast and crew.
Dance Breakdown: Final Stage (5:36; HD) looks at the final dance sequence and choreography.
Clap, Stomp, Slide: The Sounds of Battle (4:17; HD) covers the boxing ring dance sequence sans music and just the foot beats and other sounds.
Ryan’s Favorite Dance Scenes (19:14; HD) – Here we get Ryan Guzman’s favorite scenes; includes an optional commentary with Guzman.
The Vortex Dance Index (34:21; HD) – I don’t quite know what this is, I guess it just a collection of the dance scenes from the movie.
Deleted Scenes (9:22; HD) – Here we get cut or trimmed scenes no doubt removed for pacing reasons.
Previews – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, Divergent, Step Up Revolution, Obvious Child
VIDEO – 4.75/5
Step Up: All In takes the dance floor onto Blu-ray presented in 1080p high-definition and in its original 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio (MPEG-4 AVC codec). The picture looks incredible taking advantage of the bright colors while details were sharp and skin tones appearing natural. I didn’t notice any cases of artifacting, pixilation or aliasing making for an excellent video transfer.
AUDIO – 5.0/5
From what I can tell, this is the second Dolby Atmos release, following Transformers: Age of Extinction, and as before, if you don’t have the equipment to decode it, fear not as older receivers will output a wide ranging TrueHD 7.1 track. The movie might stink but damn does it utilize each and every channel especially during the numerous dance sequences where the music will shake floor, exploiting the LFE channel, while also providing for some good depth and dynamic range from crisp and clear dialogue to the score and, as mentioned before, insane soundtrack. Again, bad movie but this is reference material.
OVERALL – 2.5/5
Overall, there’s really no reason for Step Up: All In to even exist mainly because everything outside of some of the dance chorography was poorly done, in particular a thin story. But, for fans of the series, they might get more out of this as it does bring together some favorites, except for Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan whose presence I think would’ve been beneficial even as cameos. The Blu-ray released by Lionsgate does at least offer incredible video and audio transfers and the bonus material, albeit thin in scope, is at least watchable.