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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Step Up 5: All In (aka Step Up All In) movie review: dance fever

Step Up 5: All In yellow light

A series of amazing music videos featuring astonishingly athletic dancers expressing crazy-hot modern choreography strung together by a flimsy narrative. Kinda like old-school Hollywood musicals were.
I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): haven’t been a fan of the series

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Am I going soft in my old age? I don’t think so — it feels like the opposite actually; I’m angrier and more cynical all the time — but I actually almost liked this silly, cheesy, hey-kids-let’s-put-on-a-show excuse for a movie, after reacting far less generously to the two previous installments. It’s all dance-offs to satisfy random dissing, but at this point, perhaps it’s best to concede that the usual standards of cinematic discernment are not required here. We shouldn’t focus on the overly earnest performances, the painful exposition, the couple of deeply weird edits. Instead, we should accept this as a series of amazing music videos featuring astonishingly athletic dancers expressing crazy-hot modern choreography strung together by a flimsy narrative. (It’s pretty much what old-school, 1930s Hollywood musicals were, isn’t it?) This time, Sean (Ryan Guzman), returning from the previous film, gets together a new crew in Los Angeles to compete in “the Vortex” in Vegas — it “isn’t just another dance competition” — with assists from Andie (Briana Evigan), Moose (Adam Sevani), and other dancers back from earlier installments. (I suspect that’s what the “All In” is meant to refer to.) Maybe I can be nicer because this time out, no big social issues have been awkwardly shoved into the drama and then handily dismissed in embarrassingly naive ways. Maybe it’s just that nice to see guys who know how to dance, women not wearing stupid shoes while trying to dance, and lots of nonwhite people and lots of nonmale people doing anything at all onscreen.


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Step Up 5: All In (aka Step Up All In) (2014)
US/Can release: Aug 08 2014
UK/Ire release: Aug 01 2014

MPAA: rated PG-13 for some language and suggestive material
BBFC: rated PG (mild bad language, rude gestures, sex references)

viewed in 3D
viewed at a semipublic screening with an audience of critics and ordinary moviegoers

official site | IMDb
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

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