The Mob leader Sean (a ripped Ryan Guzman) and his Miami crew return, this time ‘surviving’ in LA on the last of the proceeds of a Nike advert. Yet another disastrous audition leaves Sean and co weighing up their options, with dancing as a paid career looking more and more unlikely. They also cross the path of a swaggering Jasper (Stephen Stevo Jones) and his Grim Knights crew – who you just know they’ll encounter and triumph over later. Meanwhile, The Mob ventures home to Miami, defeated, while a headstrong Sean remains, determined to succeed. He comes across his old pal Moose (Adam G. Sevani) whose eccentric family give him a place to crash (a dance studio store cupboard) in return for fixing their loos. Moose has since ‘grown up’, got a steady engineering job, an apartment and a lovely, understanding partner Camille (Alyson Stoner).
However, after Sean (too) conveniently discovers a Las Vegas dance competition online called The Vortex, presented by the flamboyant Alex (Izabella Miko), with a first prize of a three-year dance contract – and a bit of security that Sean craves, Moose helps pull together a new crew. This includes equally strong-willed Andie (Briana Evigan from Step Up 2). As new moves come together, sparks fly in the romantic arena. What’s stopping them go all the way?
Acting doesn’t really come into the equation; it’s all about the 3D dancing – when debut feature-film director Trish Sie remembers to use this feature. Still, there’s a lot of humour resounding from a script to die (from laughter) for, plus intentional gags supplied mostly by the supporting characters that all get their minute to shine. The choreographers excel themselves once more at least, especially with the final dance off – resembling the 2012 Olympics’ Opening Ceremony in industrial theme. Thankfully, there are more routines than tiresome flash mob moves this time too, making things more creative and interesting for 3D viewing.
Guzman and Evigan as moody Sean and frustrated Andie keep us guessing as to when the first steamy clinch will happen. Meanwhile, they make a pair of believable leaders of the pack. There’s quite a wait though for love to blossom, but a great fairground routine to enjoy in the interim set to Bobby Brown’s ‘Every Little Step’ – like some latter day Rogers and Astaire. To be perfectly honest, as soon as any flesh comes on display, this acts as a convenient distraction from the lame acting until the next dance routine kicks in and saves the moment. Sie doesn’t veer too far from the original Step Up brief. Fans would be disappointed if she did.
Step Up 5 is another vehicle for showcasing the latest, creative street dance moves. Be ‘All In’ with this and resign yourself to the mawkishness to get the most out of it. It’s the only way.