Step Up: All In, the fifth flick in the franchise, recruits a handful of disparate members from previous iterations and brings them together as a newly formed super crew who attempt to win a Las Vegas dance contest lorded over by Lady Gaga avatar Alexxa Brava (Izabella Miko). All In was directed by Trish Sie, a choreographer best known for her work on OK Go’s super-viral treadmill-assisted video ”Here It Goes Again,” and she’s pretty stellar with the camera during the two gigantic set pieces that book-end the film. In an effort to show off the actual talents of the performers, she often holds the frame still and lets the killer moves fill it. The dancing is the star of any of these movies, and Sie knows when to get out of the way and let it do the heavy lifting.
She is less assured in between the moving and shaking, and whenever the poppers and lockers talk, it’s usually disastrous. Crew leaders Sean (Ryan Guzman) and Andie (Briana Evigan) handle their inevitable courtship reasonably well, but the other plot threads do little but extend an already bloated run time, and the movie ultimately forgets about them in the end anyway. (Ostensible villain Jasper just sort of fades into the background by the climax.) Evigan, who provided the spectacular spark that helped make Step Up 2 The Streets the pinnacle of this series, possesses enough charisma to brighten up her less compelling cast mates. If only she could punch up a few more script pages with her charm. The space between the spectacles are just too laborious, creating the odd sensation that there’s not quite enough dance in this dance movie. B-