Rated: PG-13 for some language and suggestive material. Reviewed by: Jim Release date: August 8, 2014 Released by: Lions Gate Films
An obvious, slight script still won't bother ardent admirers of a corny franchise (now in its fifth installment) that features fantastic, if over-the-top dance scenes. Co-produced by Adam Shankman is Step Up: All In follows the characters of the previous Revolution when The Mob was victorious in Miami. But success isn't for them in the City of Angels so its back to the Sunshine State. That's when chief foe Jasper (Stephen Stevo Jones), The Grim Knights top dog costs them another job.
A mostly obstinate Sean (Ryan Guzman, a model) finds menial work at a salsa studio and meets up again with Adam Sevani's Moose. John Swetnam's predictable script has them reorganizing a new team to get to Vegas's reality TV dance contest, The Vortex, hosted by flamboyant, foppish Alexxa (Izabella Miko). Remembering the earlier installment subtitled 'The Streets', Andie (Brianna Evigan of Sorority Row) helps form Lmntrix, an avant-garde group.
So, street moves are jettisoned in favor of understated maneuvers out of a Cirque du Soleil performance where the choreography is on focus in a less heavy-handed manner leading to an outrageous climax as it's clear that The Grim Knights and The Mob will face off against this newly formed, if formidable
For the outtakes there is some amusement for onlookers after this morality tale gets a bit didactic when it comes to Sean. But Guzman and Evigan have solid screen presence, much more than a likable romantic pairing. Watch out for the back up to add more pizzazz even with a modicum of characterization. An airiness is felt in how the sense of humor comes amidst the actors with surprising dance moves of the street variety from oily cha-cha instructor (David Shreibman). Wild and measured is this latest Step Up which is more amusing, if derivative than mockingly mediocre.
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