Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Guy's Review of Every "Step Up" Movie

Step Up seems like a lame movie series that is not made for guys, but I cannot imagine a girl liking these movies half as much as a guy would. It is filled with hot chicks and action sequences, because they don't like to let little things like "coherent plots" get in their way of making a great film. The beauty of these movies is that I watched the first four in a weekend and outside of two characters (Tyler Gage and Moose), I have no idea if any of these people are supposed to be the same person from different movies. The main characters in every movie are Handsome Dude and Hot Brunette. I'm not even sure if they actually have names. I love it, so I feel I need to explain all of the greatness that these movies bring so you can be ready for the fifth installment that comes out on August 8. Since this is a review for guys, I will compare each film to an installment of the Fast and Furious franchise (Step Up is obviously inferior, but it gives you an idea of what you are getting into with each movie, because every red-blooded American has seen all of the Fast and Furious movies).

Step Up - Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
This movie is absolute shit. I can't believe they were able to make a sequel after this pile of garbage. I remember watching the previews for this one and assumed that Step Up movies were awful so I never watched any of them until I came across Step Up 3D (in 2-D). A lot of people mistakenly think this is a quality one because it's got Channing Tatum. It tries to be a real movie, but trust me, it's a giant pile of shit. Just skip to the second one; you won't miss anything.

Step Up 2: Back to the Streets - Fast and Furious 4
This is where they start to figure things out. They are not quite at the level that the following movie will put the series, but they are going in the right direction. The most important change is that they make the transition from classical dance to straight up street dancing. The second most important thing is that this is the movie that introduces us to Moose who is somehow the most important character in this series despite never really being the lead of the movie. He's the glue of the dance crew.
The biggest plot hole is the fact hat this girl does not want to leave Baltimore to go live with her aunt in Texas because all of her friends are in B-More. However, once she gets into the fancy school, all but one of her friends immediately turn their backs on her, so she is left without close friends. So, in the end, she probably should have just moved to Texas.
Still, this movie is almost there. It's got some hilarious street dancing, and they also establish that none of the characters are going to make any sense. Still, it is anchored down by some classical dancing, and they are only dancing for respect. The stakes get progressively higher as these movies go on.

Step Up 3-D - Fast Five
I have already written a whole separate post about this movie, because it's that good. But every time I watch this movie, I think I could easily come up with 2000 new words on it. You know how Fast and the Furious was a semi-realistic movie about racing cars through the first four movies, and then for Fast Five, they just said, "Fuck it," and made it the most awesome thing ever with shit that could never possibly happen in real life. That is basically what happens in Step Up 3-D, except for dancing as opposed to car stunts.

The best exchange of the movie, and a top five exchange in cinematic history:

Cool Guy: You're BFAB.
Moose: What's BFAB?
Cool Guy (casual as fuck): Born From A Boombox

It is very important how casually he says this, and also that he manages to do it with a straight face. It makes me laugh out loud every time I hear it, so it is basically their version of, "Show me how you drive, I'll show you who you are."

One issue is that everyone in this movie is the worst friend ever. Here is how every person treats their supposed best friend.
1. The bad guy in the movie makes his sister infiltrate the rival group, and then exposes her secret to the man she fell in love with.
2. The main girl infiltrated a rival group, gave away their secrets even though she said she cared about them as people. Nobody ever got mad at her for this.
3. The main dude is not innocent. He convinced his best bud (who he had known for about a month), Moose, to skip a test that was worth 25% of his grade, and also convinced him to go to a party and promised he would have him back in time for the party that Moose actually wanted to go to. Moose did not make it in time, because main dude snuck away to make out with main girl for a while.
4. Moose treated his best lady friend horribly as he constantly ignored her throughout the movie, as he only hung out with her when it was convenient for him.
5. Oh, and his best lady friend came up with the idea that her and a friend could be the Olsen Twins, but then Moose showed up, asked her to switch so he could be an Olsen Twin, and she's like, "Okay, I'll screw that girl over," so that girl had to come up with a completely different idea for Halloween. I would feel bad for that girl, but the pattern shows that she was probably a really shitty person to her best friend as well.
6. Finally, the whole dance crew who lives for free where their only responsibilities are to dance and have a good time, get super pissed at the guy when his house and club gets repossessed, because it means they have no place to live. If everyone would have just gotten job, he wouldn't have lost the place, but he was housing a bunch of ungrateful freeloaders. Seriously, this is the worst display of friendship in cinematic history.

But the reason I have written so much about this one is because I fucking love this movie. I laugh, I cheer, I even cover my mouth and go "Oh no he didn't!" If you only watch one Step Up movie, make it this one.

Step Up: Revolution - Fast Six
Where Step Up 3-D (available in 2-D) had to save a dance club/domicile for dancers who refuse to get day jobs, Step Up: Revolution takes it one step further where they must save an entire neighborhood. There are not only houses at stake, but a bar that will give you free drinks if you dance with their unattractive relatives. It is a very important place for poor people who want to live on the ocean in Miami.

Sandy Cohen is a real estate developer and father of the main girl, so he is the one trying to take away their neighborhood. His daughter tries to tell him to pick a different spot, but Sandy Cohen tells his daughter that he doesn't tell her how to dance, so she shouldn't tell him how to run his business. It's a sick burn that puts her in her place.

For the rest of the plot, they learn that it is not enough to dance to get noticed, they need to dance to make a difference. Once they learn that, they are truly unstoppable.

I think my favorite part is where the crew finds out that the new girl in the crew is actually the daughter of the developer that is trying to take their homes. One guy in the crew is like, "Should we talk to Handsome Dude about this?" And the other guy is like, "No, I have a better idea." His idea was to break into a fancy party, cause a shit ton of damage, and make the guests feel like they were about to be murdered. Nobody questioned this plan.

As great as that is, the most hilarious part is when Sandy Cohen tells his daughter, "Don't worry honey, soon we can leave here (Miami) and get back to Cleveland." Yep, Cleveland. You know what the best thing about Cleveland is? I don't have to live there. But it's pretty clear this movie was written by a Cavs fan.

So why write this report now? Two reasons. First off, ABC Family had a marathon of the first three on last weekend, and the fourth one was on demand from one of the premium channels, so I was able to knock them all out within a week. But more importantly, the fifth installment, Step Up: All In comes out August 8, just one month away, and I wanted to give everyone ample time to get amped up for this movie, as it includes All-Stars from the previous movies all coming together for what could be the most epic dance battle yet. Will I see it in the theaters? Probably not...but maybe, and that is saying quite a lot for a dance movie.

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