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Sean brings his dance crew known as The Mob to Los Angeles to try and make it. But they haven't had much luck, eventually the Mob decides it's time to go back to Miami but Sean decides to stay. He learns of a dance competition is Las Vegas wherein the winner will get a three year contract. Sean needs a new crew so he asks fellow dancer Moose for help. And Moose introduces him to Andie, another friend and dancer who got injured a few years ago and is now ready to get back in. He recruits some other friends and they head Las Vegas as LMNTRIX. When they get there, they discover that the Mob too is also there, which is very touchy for Sean. Written by
Dull when there's no dancing, but decent enough for fans.
How did a movie which received generally mediocre reviews on release spawn an entire franchise? That's a weighty question about the foibles and excesses of Hollywood that you can ponder while watching Step Up All In, the fifth Step Up movie about a boy and a girl finding love amidst the dance-breaks. As you might expect, it's as formulaic as they come, with some decently-choreographed dance sequences that break up the monotony of the film's so-called 'plot'.
Sean (Ryan Guzman) just wants to make a living as a dancer, but he and his crew - the Mob - keep coming up empty at auditions. When everyone else in the Mob finally decides to pack up and head back to Miami, Sean stays in LA and resolves to enter The Vortex - a spectacular dance competition that will guarantee its winners a three-year show in Las Vegas. Sean sets out to find a new group of dancers, including opinionated Andie (Briana Evigan), even as his buddy Moose (Adam Sevani) wavers between his steady job as an engineer and his own desire to cut loose on the dance-floor. But, once LMNTRIX is formed and makes it into the finals of The Vortex, Sean's single-minded devotion to winning starts to create tensions within the new group.
Along the way, there's shady Vortex host Alexxa Brava (Izabella Miko) and nominal villain Jasper (Stephen Jones), a conspiracy to rig the competition, and a budding romance - obviously - between Sean and the sensitive Andie, who doesn't want to win so much as just enjoy her time with her new dance crew. But it's all largely window dressing, packed around a hugely predictable plot. Group members pull out for personal reasons and return triumphantly at the last minute, characters learn lessons about finding your own kind of victory in a difficult world, people dance to fall in love and forget their problems.
The cast is mostly dutiful, yet lacks the spark and charm that so evidently set Channing Tatum on his route to stardom after the original Step Up. Guzman is handsome but, in playing his pivotal role, doesn't manage to muster up much in the way of emotion. Evigan is more effective as Andie, hinting a little at the tragedies and pain that go into dancing everyday for a living, while Sevani provides good comic support as Moose.
At least the dancing is fun to watch. Every so often, characters stop to cut a rug, and some of it is genuinely quite thrilling. The final performance by LMNTRIX (and others) is a spectacular choreography blow- out that gleefully encompasses everything from sand and fire to acrobatics, even as it wraps everything up in a pretty, predictable bow.
If you're looking for revolutionary, thought-provoking cinema, Step Up All In is very much not the movie for you. This is fluff of the first order - and not even of the first grade - that might occasionally entertain the unconverted and will certainly thrill long-time fans, but is unlikely to do a great deal more than that.
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