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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Step Up All In

November 24th, 2014

Step Up All In - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray

I've reviewed every film in the Step Up franchise, except Revolution. Step Up 3D is a prime example of the genre. The plot, and lead characters, take a back seat to the dancing. The latest installment of the franchise, Step Up All In, comes out on the home market this week. (Maybe. There seems to be some confusion on the release date over on Amazon.com.) Is it more of the same? Will that be enough for fans of the franchise?

The Movie

We hear in a voice-over how dancing is magic, but the life of the professional dancer is anything but. It is mostly being rejected at auditions. Sean and his dance crew, The Mob, are in Los Angeles trying to make it as professional dancers, but after losing out to another dance crew, the Grim Knights run by Jasper, their spirits are low. They decide to head to a dance club to relax, only to run into Jasper again. There's a dance-off, but the Mob lose. (I have seen nearly a dozen dancing competition movies, and I still don't understand when a dance crew is winning or losing.) After the loss, the Mob decides to head back to Miami, but Sean sticks around in Los Angeles trying to make his dream come true.

Sean thinks he might have found his big break when he comes across The Vortex, a dancing competition hosted by Alexxa Brava. Whoever wins the competition will earn a three-year contract in Las Vegas. He needs a crew to win, but first he needs a job. That's where Moose comes in. Moose offers Sean a job at his grandparents' dance studio. Sean tries to get Moose to join his crew, but he's got a job and responsibilities. When Moose gets home to his girlfriend, Camille, she convinces him to give the contest a try. The first person Moose tries to recruit is Andie. There is an instant spark between the two, as well as a competitive streak. The rest of the crew is recruited with a voice-over and a montage and suddenly LMNTRIX is formed.

They make it past the first round and are invited to perform in Las Vegas. When they get there, they meet some of the competition. One of the crews is The Grim Knights, but one of the other crews is The Mob. So Sean will have to dance against his arch-rival and his former crew.

I'm trying to think about what to say about Step Up All In that I didn't say in any of my other Step Up reviews. I'm drawing a blank. This could be why the movie did so poorly at the box office. There's really nothing more to be done with this franchise and it feels very unnecessary. Like the last installment I reviewed, the characters take a backseat to the dancing, but at least the two leads had better chemistry this time around. On the downside, the plot is even weaker this time around as there's very little above the tournament clichés to catch your attention. Additionally, none of the dances stood out as much as the Ginger Rogers and Gene Kelly dance from before, which is a bigger problem.

Overall, it is just very mediocre and very unnecessary.

The Extras

Extras on the Blu-ray begin with an audio commentary track with the director, Trish Sie, and the lead, Briana Evigan. Up next are a couple of featurettes, starting with an ten-minute featurette on the cast, as well as a six-minute featurette on the dance finale. Next up is a four-minute dance scene presented without music. You can also watch just the dance scenes, all 34 minutes of them, or just Ryan Guzman's favorites, with optional audio commentary by the actor. Finally, there are nine-minutes of deleted scenes.

The Blu-ray looks and sounds amazing. The colors are particularly strong and the blacks are deep, emphasizing the neons. There are no compression issues or any digital artifacts. The audio is even better with a powerful 7.1 surround sound track. There's not a lot of dynamic effects, but the music will envelop you.

The Blu-ray costs $20, which is $5 or 34% more than the DVD. That's a fair price for this type of release.

The Verdict

The plot for Step Up All In is weaker than the previous installments and the dancing blends together too much. On the other hand, if you are a fan of the movie, then the DVD or Blu-ray are worth picking up.


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Filed under: Video Review, Step Up All In, Step Up, Briana Evigan, Izabella Miko, Alyson Stoner, Adam Sevani, Ryan Guzman, Trish Sie, Stephen Stevo Jones