Each of the four films follows a similar pattern, each stars a motley crew of misfits and dancers, each includes a romance between two main characters (that are kind of hard to tell apart) and each ends up with (at least) one super climactic, kick-ass dance routine. There are so many characters that crossover from one film to the next, that it can get a little confusing to keep track of who's who and who's in which crew...
Step Up: All In (the fifth installment in the series) is set to premiere this Friday, August 8, 2014... and will feature cast members from the past five films. Before it opens this weekend, you could either binge-watch the first four films or you could just take a few minutes to refresh your memory on the key players and find out who to expect in the latest crossover of crews...
|Obviously there are a ton of other dancers missing from this diagram... |
but these are many of the key cast members.
The main three crews are the MSA Crew (Step Up 2: The Streets), the Pirates (Step Up 3D) and the Mob (Step Up Revolution and apparently Step Up: All In). However, the dancers from the MSA Crew join the Pirates at the end of the third movie... and select members of both the MSA Crew and the Pirates join the Mob in the fourth film. The fifth film is supposed to feature a combination crew with members from the second, third, and fourth movies. (Additionally, Tyler from the first movie has a brief scene in the second and you may have recognized Moose's best friend and love interest in 3D - Camille - as Tyler's adorable kid sister.)
One logistical issue that always bothered me was the fact that many of the characters from the movies are struggling street dancers (in Step Up 3D they can't even afford to keep their warehouse from being foreclosed on)... but somehow they can afford to travel around the world competing in dance battles for their buddies? The first two movies take place in Maryland, but then in 3D, almost the entire MSA crew travels from Maryland to New York to help out their pal Moose (who is attending NYU) and the Pirates. Then in Revolution, select members of both the MSA Crew and the Pirates travel all the way from Maryland and New York to Miami to dance with the Mob. In the newest installment, All In, the Mob moves to Los Angeles and then members from all three crews go to Vegas for a competition. Who is paying all their travel expenses!?
Another continuity issue that always bugged me pops up in Step Up 3D. In the first Step Up movie, Tyler and Camille are siblings. In Step Up 2: The Streets, Tyler and Andie grew up together and then Andie gets to MSA and meets Moose for the first time. In 3D, Moose and Camille are best friends who grew up together. How did Camille and Tyler grow up together... Tyler and Andie grew up together... and Moose and Camille grew up together... but Andie and Moose didn't even know each other at all?
The first four movies each include the same kind of "opposites attract" pairings of two people from different socio-economic classes/styles of dance. Some of the leads are so generic that it's hard to tell them apart or remember exactly who is from which film.
|Can you tell the Step Up couples apart?|
Step Up franchise is Channing Tatum and Jennna-Dewan Tatum's real life marriage. If only the producers had the budget probably necessary to bring them back for the last movie. I'm still secretly hoping out for a Channing Tatum cameo but I won't hold my breath... Guess I'll just have to wait for the next Magic Mike to see him dance again.
One of my favorite parts of the Step Up universe, is how closely linked it is to So You Think You Can Dance (a show I love). Step Up 3D included season 4 winner Joshua Allen, as well as series favorite Stephen "Twitch" Boss (who also appears in Revolution and All In). The female lead in Step Up Revolution was played by season six finalist Kathryn McCormick and Phillip Chbeeb, a season five contestant, also appeared as part of the Mob. According to IMDB, at least a few other SYTYCD alums will be in Step Up: All In - including Comfort Fedoke, Cyrus "Glitch" Spencer, and the most recently eliminated dancer of the current season, Emilio Dosal.