STEP UP ALL IN Has All the Right Moves – Blu-Ray Review
The latest film in the Step Up franchise, Step Up All In, brings back fan favorites Ryan Guzman and Briana Evigan, reprising their roles as Sean (Step Up Revolution) and Andie (Step Up 2: The Streets), respectively. Together these two form the ultimate dance crew as they prepare to do battle for a shot at their own Las Vegas show.
With the help of a mutual friend, Moose (Adam Sevani), another legendary Step Up character, the trio calls in old friends and new ones to help make everyone’s dreams come true. It’s not entirely smooth sailing as Sean and Andie try to figure out how to work as a team after being burned by their former partners (which is pretty much left open to vague interpretation), but in the end, everything comes together.
At the beginning of the film, fans will reunite with The Mob in Los Angeles. It doesn’t take long before the glitz and glamour starts to wear off, along with their internet notoriety, and they start experiencing the pitfalls of trying to make it as professional dancers, one audition at a time. With rent past due and their frustrations reaching a peak, they decide to throw in the towel and head back to Miami, leaving Sean behind.
That’s when Sean decides he needs a little help and reaches out to Moose. The story unfolds from that point, leading him to discover a competition named “The Vortex.” The rest of the film is a series of ups and downs as the new crew prepares to battle against some stiff competition in the high-stakes, televised competition.
Besides the change of location, there’s nothing that really pushes the envelope in this latest addition to the franchise, except the performances. Fans have come to expect the dancing in each film under the Step Up umbrella to be bigger and better than the previous one, and Step Up All In doesn’t disappoint in that department. The final dance sequence brings together an insane number of dancers in elaborate Steam Punk costumes. If anything, there’s almost too much going on.
Overall, my biggest complaint is that the back story was a little on the weak side. There was plenty of dialogue about not forcing things, but ultimately the love story between Sean and Andie that was supposed to anchor the narrative, felt forced. Bridging the gap between new and old cast members may have been a little too much for this film to take on without creating a few awkward growing pains.
The Blu-ray version of Step Up All In contains an impressive amount of special features without overdoing it, including:
- “All in with the Crew” featurette
- “Dance Breakdown: Final Stage” featurette
- Clap, Stomp, Slide: The Sounds of Battle
- Audio Commentary with Director Trish Sie and Actress Briana Evigan
- Ryan’s Favorite Dance Scenes with Optional Commentary
- The Vortex Dance Index
- Deleted Scenes
There’s really a great mix between telling and showing within the featurettes which examine both the overall film and some of the more minute details of the project. The commentary is also a nice touch, especially the optional one from Guzman during his favorite dance scenes. It was refreshing to hear from people in front of and behind the camera.
The film looks great in this format which really accentuates all the vivid colors that go along with the Las Vegas backdrop. The only thing that was problematic with this transfer was the volume of some of the dialogue. There were a few scenes early on in the film that were difficult to hear over the background music.
Other than that, Step Up All In is well-worth the purchase price. There’s more than enough extras to keep you interested after watching the film, adding a lot to your initial viewing experience.
Step Up All In is available on Blu-ray on November 4.
On a side note, there’s a good chance that the image on the Blu-ray cover has been altered. Although Evigan no doubt has a great body, at no point in the film does her waist look that small. It’s actually really sad to see, since she’s clearly in good shape at her normal size – but even supermodels are Photoshopped these days, so, err, maybe it’s no big thing.