Monkey Movie Review – Step Up (5) : All In (2014)

The Monkey has been otherwise detained and distracted, what with re-thatching his jungle hut and trying to talk Gilligan out of a tree.  Ah well, but the first movie back was a mild surpriser.

This movie was released in 3D, though I saw it on the small screen in 2D.   It is officially the fifth movie in the Step Up lineage of dance candy movies, which gave folks like Channing Tatum (and his wife, who has a cameo in this movie as well) a start. Stars include Ryan Guzman, Briana Evigan, Misha Gabriel, Adam Sevani, and Alyson Stoner – no people you’d otherwise recognize.

The start of the movie lays the groundwork for this fairly simple plot that drives an entertaining movie, if you’re into dancing.  What with a 17-year old daughter chimp that dances, this Monkey enjoys watching good dance shows, specifically So You Think You Can Dance.

The plot is simple and starts with a dance crew called “the Mob”, lead by Sean (Guzman) attempting to audition for various dance gigs with no success. The Mob has a dance off against another group called the Grim Knights and cannot compete.  Ultimately, the Mob decides to leave LA but Sean is upset by this and decides to stay.   This leads Sean to form a new crew to compete in a competition held in Las Vegas called “The Vortex”.   Sean reunites with an old friend called Moose (Sevani) who brings together this new crew called LMNTRIX (eliminate-trix). They all go to Las Vegas to compete with, guess who, the Grim Knights.  There’s a very small surprise in terms of who they compete with, and since the Monkey doesn’t like to spoil movies, he will not divulge.

The movie is acted well enough, at least sincerely enough, by folks who are primarily dancers.  Sean comes to learn what is truly important in life, except for a minor problem Moose causes with some dancing with a floozy at Caesars palace, there’s not a lot of suspense.

The main thrust (pun!) of this movie is to showcase modern dance, and the dancing is very good, especially the finale, though it’s hard to explain how the group every rehearsed some of the moves and effects pulled off.  But please, don’t ask any questions like that.

You’ll see a few graduates from So You Think You Can Dance, so keep our eyes peeled!

There’s one F-word, which is needed in order to get that obligatory PG-13 since teens won’t go see PG movies.  There’s no sex or violence, other than imitation violence through dance moves.

On odd item, Briana Evigan, the co-lead dance and love interest of Sean, is a great dancer, in fine shape, but she has a rather squarish body, not stocky or overweight, but a specific body style.  It’s interesting that the movie poster puts little fake indentions above her hips to give her a more traditional body shape.  Interesting and sad.

Anyway, otherwise a middling movie that is enjoyable, on a scale of one to five bananas, the Monkey gives this one 3.5 pirouettes!

Check it out, but only if you really enjoying seeing people pull off some astounding dance moves.


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