It feels like so long ago that Channing Tatum was just another hunky dancer in a movie about dancing teens. Approximately eight years later, Tatum is a mega-star who married his onscreen dance partner, and a new generation of dancers has taken over. And they’re going to Vegas, baby, Vegas!
Redonkulously handsome Ryan Guzman (“Step Up Revolution,” “Pretty Little Liars,” “Jem and the Holograms”) puts on his dancing shoes to join Briana Evigan (“Step Up 2: The Streets”) and a bunch of other “Step Up” alums to compete for their very own Vegas show. Yeah, this is a far cry from the dainty ballerinas and krumping flash mobs of years past.
This is director Trish Sie’s first feature-length film. You might know her work from OK Go’s video for “Here It Goes Again,” which featured the band in a crazy treadmill routine that Sie choreographed and co-directed. That video snagged a Grammy and has inspired tons of parodies. She’s also done commercials and/or viral videos for Levi’s, Haagen-Dazs, Sony, and El Pollo Loco.
“Step Up All In” opens on August 8.
Gallery | Best Dance Movie Sequences
- ‘Love Actually’ — ‘Jump (For My Love)’
Hugh Grant has played leading man to many a Richard Cutris script, but for the British rom-com expert’s directorial debut, dreams were finally realized. Wait, you had a dream of Grant dancing like Christopher Walken too, right?
- ‘Slumdog Millionare’ — ‘Jai Ho’
The soul of Danny Boyle’s 2009 Best Picture Winner drew from all aspects of Indian art and life — but it wasn’t quite a Bollywood movie in execution. Still, Boyle couldn’t help but go out with a bang, throwing in an explosion of color, sound, and synchronized hand movement.
- ‘This Is the End’ — ‘Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)’
If you were in your teens when the late ’90s rolled around, you likely have nostalgia for boy bands (yes, even if, at that time, you hated boy bands). The songs are infectious, the glam more so, and they call back to a time when everything was just a wee bit easier. That’s why when Seth Rogen (SPOILER!) dies and goes to Heaven in “This Is the End,” he’s met by the Backstreet Boys, who indulge his desire to line dance.
- ‘Step Up 3D’ — Robot Rock
Dancer Chadd Smith vindicated the existence of a third “Step Up” movie by laying down some of the sickest, rigid dancing evert committed to film. Somewhere, C3PO is crying.
- ‘Southland Tales’ — ‘All These Things That I Have Done’
Some may feel that director Richard Kelly squandered Justin Timberlake by featuring him in a lip syncing dance rendition of “All These Things That I Have Done.” But those people are wrong. Because this is a trip.
- ‘Save the Last Dance’ — ‘All or Nothing’
Before there was “Black Swan,” there was Julia Stiles fusing ballet with hip-hop. Every teen took notes when this drama dropped in 2001. Dancing could be steamy. And not just that — dancing alone could be steamy.
- ‘Pina’ — ‘Rite of Spring’
If there were any doubts about the artistic possibilities of 3D, Wim Wenders’s tribute to the late contemporary dance choreographer Pina Bausch put them to rest. Kinetic movement and elegant character work help Pina fire on all cylinders, like a “Step Up” for the modern art crowd.
- ‘Magic Mike’ — ‘Pony’
Speaking of “Step Up,” alum Channing Tatum obliterated any memory of his inclusion in the series after his sultry steps in Steven Soderbergh’s “Magic Mike.” The only dance of the 21st century that deserves the label “fly.”
- ‘Beau Travail’ — ‘The Rhythm of the Mind’
If you saw Denis Lavant’s energetic accordion playing in last year’s “Holy Motors,” wait until you see his precision flailing. Many suggest that the final scene of Claire Denis’ “Beau Travail” is a metaphor for suicide. A hell of way to go.
- ‘Kung Fu Hustle’
Martial arts movies are a lot like dance movies. They’re heavily choreographed and the more moves that pile up on top of moves, the better. Stephen Chow, a formidable Chinese director/clown, merged both arts into one with “Kung Fu Hustle,” the only movie to feature an Electric Slide-esque performance with axe-wielding assassins.
- ‘Tropic Thunder’ — ‘Get Back’
Tom Cruise blew are minds scene after scene in “Tropic Thunder,” but he went for the kill with a credits sequence of thrusting and jiving dance moves. Strapped into a fat suit and bald cap, it’s both astounding and disturbing.
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