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Movie Review

Things haven't been going all that great for Sean and his dance crew since they moved to L.A. They landed one sweet gig when they first arrived in town, but ever since it's been a series of failed and, frankly, humiliating auditions for anything that might bring in a buck.

After three years of effort, Sean's best bud Eddy is seriously wondering why they're still trying to grind it out for some career-making dream that's become more of a money-sucking nightmare. In fact, Eddy is so serious that he decides to pack it in and head back home to Miami. The rest of the crew shrugs and follows him.

Sean, however, isn't ready to quit quite yet. Surely there's got to be a way that a dedicated dancer can make a worthwhile living doing what he loves! Dancing for fun just doesn't cut it anymore. So while cleaning toilets and living in a storage closet in an old Cha Cha dance studio, Sean hits the Web looking for possibilities.

He spots a promo for the Vortex, a Los Vegas dance-off hosted by famed pop glitz-queen Alexxa Brava. The winning crew of dancers gets a three-year contract for its own show at none other than Caesars Palace!

Since his crew has already bailed and flown off to the opposite coast, there's only one thing Sean (who was also featured in Step Up Revolution) can do: start from scratch and put together a new troupe. He pulls in his old friend Moose (from the last three Step Up movies) and a former dance-crew leader named Andie (from Step Up 2 the Streets), and together they start building a killer cadre of talented dancers like you've never seen. (Except in the last Step Up film, of course!)

Can they find the rhythm and start dancing together like a team?

Can they put together a video creative enough to earn them entrance into the Vortex event?

Can Sean and Andie deal with this love-hate vibe between them?

Can they step up and go all in for one last shot at fame?

You do know what kind of movie this is, right?

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Positive Elements

Sean and Andie want pretty much the same thing: to do their best and win the prize. But they want it for different reasons. For Sean it's a last ditch, laser-focused effort to finally make it, no matter the cost. For Andie, it's more about the love of the craft and the joy of being part of a well-oiled, family-like crew. The colder-minded Sean eventually comes to see the wisdom of Andie's perspective. He apologizes to her, his crew and other friends for the misguided way he's treated them.

Moose also understands the importance of the whole family relationship thing. He helps out his elderly aunt and uncle at their dance studio whenever he can. And he's ready to sacrifice his part in the dancing competition when he realizes his inadvertent actions have hurt the woman he loves.

Moose's aunt and uncle counsel Sean to not expect perfection in life, stressing that perseverance is the key. "Sometimes you just have to shovel through it," they tell him. And we see that that philosophy has served them well in their long-lasting loving relationship.

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

The dancers' costumes, in both performance and rehearsal, are often formfitting and/or sexually suggestive. Andie, in particular, wears quite a variety of outfits showcasing her toned midriff. Guys sometimes strip off their shirts to show off six-pack abs. And the girls can be seen in everything from short shorts with garter belts, to (very) low-riding sweat pants, to torn "nurse" outfits with a breast-lifting bodice, to little more than brief bikinis. Alexxa Brava favors shear, beaded getups that tend to reveal more than they cover. Mannequins and large alabaster statues of nude or partially nude women feature realistic figures and body features.

Dance moves incorporate crotch cups, pelvic thrusts, bouncing cleavage, and sexual-minded grinds and twerks. Sean and Andie perform one move that throws her well over his head, after which she somersaults down and wraps her legs around his waist for an impassioned full embrace and kiss.

One of the men sprays cologne down the front of his pants to prepare for what he hopes will be a sexual tryst with another dancer. It doesn't happen, but he pursues her verbally throughout, speaking of a bed they could "visit." Moose and his girlfriend share an apartment. Several couples kiss.

Sean goofs around with ladies' panties on his head. During commercial auditions, dancers are asked to "make love" to a garden hose. (We see the resulting pantomime.)

Violent Content

Two crews roughly push and shove during a dance-off.

Crude or Profane Language

One f-word and two s-words are joined by two uses of "a--," and one use each of "h---" and "b--tard." "Oh my god" is exclaimed three or four times. We hear the profane phrase "holy balls."

Drug and Alcohol Content

Nearly all the twentysomething dancers knock back beer, mixed drinks and champagne whenever they have down time. Several bar and casino scenes, along with a dinner sequence with Moose's aunt and uncle, feature wine, beer and martinis. A dance-off in a bar showcases a fellow acrobatically dancing with a beer bottle. A dance crew mimes toking on marijuana joints.

Other Negative Elements

Moose's uncle tells of having to shovel "sheep poop" in his youth—and then several references and quips harken back to said scooped-up substance. A dance number features guys "urinating" into the camera lens with squirt bottles. Sean's crew gambles in a casino. During those aforementioned commercial auditions, dancers are also asked to "use" toilet paper.

Conclusion

When working out a dance routine there are certain procedural steps a dancer takes every time. The moves may vary, the music and partners change, but the system for getting that choreographed number nailed down is going to be pretty standard. That's what makes it all work time after time.

It seems to make some sort of lunge-pivot-and-ball-change sense, then, that the Step Up movies are as interchangeable and formulaic as they are. The pretty and hyper-toned dancers, flashing-light locations, and incredible leaping moves may be a bit different each go-round, but nobody sees any reason to shake up the core process. There's always going to be a competition prize to shoot for, a crew to put together, fruitless jobs to abandon at a moment's notice, a rival posse to best, a strained attraction between lead male and female hoofers, and a big blow-out dance battle won with a last-second come-from-behind strategy.

'Cause, hey, that's what dancers do when they're all in!

Neither is it a surprise that Step Up All In's content missteps are pretty standard as well. We see the same sort of skimpy, spandex-cling costumes, the same prominent cleavage and ripped abs, the same sexy dance moves, the same tendency toward boozing, flirting and lip-locking. Again, it's all pretty routine for the pretty routines. Nothing worse than what's come before, but nothing better, either. Certainly nothing worth doing a full-on happy dance over.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Content Caution

Kids
Teens
Adults

Credits

Rating

PG-13

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Ryan Guzman as Sean; Briana Evigan as Andie West; Adam G. Sevani as Robert 'Moose' Alexander III; Alyson Stoner as Camille; Izabella Miko as Alexxa Brava; Stephen Stevo Jones as Jasper

Director

Trish Sie ( )

Distributor

Summit Entertainment

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

In Theaters

August 8, 2014

On Video

November 4, 2014

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Bob Hoose

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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