Full disclosure: I am a So You Think You Can Dance fan girl. And if you don’t know why this is relevant to a review about the latest Step Up movie, you might as well just stop reading right now.
I think it is fascinating to look at the evolution of this franchise. In addition to launching the adorable romance of now-married couple Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan Tatum, the original Step Up was really all about the romance and drama, with a few great dance numbers thrown in to complement the story: b-boy from the wrong side of the tracks meets classy ballet dancer. When the decision was made to launch a sequel with a new cast, opting not to continue to storyline established in the first film, it was a risky move, with the potential for disaster.
But it wasn’t a disaster. Despite the weak transition from the first film and questionable character development, it was awesome.
While we’re definitely seeing a steady decline in storytelling and acting ability, the dancing just keeps getting better with each new Step Up movie. Each film is an opportunity to explore a new location, a new style, new concepts for group routines, duets and solos, different tricks, different steps–and with all of the amazing choreographers and dancers in the spotlight these days, there’s no shortage of talent to work with.
In All In, worlds from previous films collided as Andie (Step Up 2) and members of the crews from Step Up 3D and Step Up Revolution are enlisted by Moose (Step Up 2, 3 and 4) and Sean (Step Up: Revolution) to join forces to create the LMNtrix crew and compete for their own Las Vegas show. The journey to the top is made up of quirky moves, some slightly over-the-top effects, but, most of all, the amazing group dances that have come to define this film series, culminating in a pretty spectacular steampunk-inspired routine.
Over the three most recent movies, fans of So You Think You Can Dance might have recognized some familiar faces in the dance crews, a few who have even earned speaking roles! As a fan of the show, I have to say that the talent of these dancers is pretty unbelievable, and it is so amazing to see their work and the work of the choreographers recognized on the big screen. It’s not going to win any Academy Awards, but if you’re going for the dancing, you won’t be disappointed.