The ‘Step Up’ movies together are most probably the biggest dance movies of all time. Hence, they constitute a series that has a universal appeal. Which obviously, makes the franchise a money-churner. And as we often observe, when a franchise starts making money, there’s no stopping it until or after the saturation point, ahem Fast and Furious! However, it has to be said that these movies deserve some slack. First of all, sports movies or movies based on arts such as music and dance are difficult to write. One simply cannot come up with different storylines. And, when they have to keep on writing sequel after sequel, it’s imminent that they’ll run out of ideas.
Secondly, the entire franchise depends on the dance choreography and the cinematography. Editing and art direction are close runner-ups to those two departments. All the other departments, which are supposed to make or break a normal movie, such as the writing, direction, and acting take a back seat. So if those few essential fields fail to reach the target even by a few inches, the entire movie falls flat. Luckily for the ‘Step Up’ movies, this hasn’t been much of a problem.
Finally, most of the franchises have one main protagonist or a core group of main characters. These characters form a bridge between the movie and its sequels, along with being the emotional coefficient that the fans and audience connect to. ‘Step Up’ movies don’t use this formula. Instead, dance is the only connection between any two ‘Step Up’ films, which could easily work against them. Of course, Ryan Guzman’s portrayal of Sean is an exception. Despite all these factors working against the franchise, it manages to stay true to its audience and provide them with the thing they need, dance. In this article, I evaluate all the movies to come out of the franchise. Here is the list of all ‘Step Up’ movies ranked in order from worst to best.
5. Step Up All In (2014)
As I told before, ‘Step Up’ movies don’t follow the same characters. But I guess they do bring along the supporting dancers and tweak their stories a bit. I was a tad disappointed at not seeing Alyson Stoner dance much though. I feel like the first movie is the best. This shouldn’t be much of a surprise if notice that almost all the sequel ranking listicles place the first movie on the top spot. The first ‘Step Up’ stands out because it shows a more classic side of dance and the rest of the movies show more of a hip-hop / popular style with a lot of facing off and acting tough without any real reason. Most of its sequels fail to do so.
‘Step Up All In’ just doesn’t feel like there’s any passion or motivation. It’s like, “here’s a stage, add some props and dance.” It is still entertaining I guess. There is some cool stuff in here. No need to go into details as to why they are dancing in a competition, if you like the dancing from the previous films, you will definitely enjoy it in this one. Watch something else for the acting or storyline. The dancing is by far one of the best I’ve seen on screen.