Magic Mike XXL (2015)

Magic Mike XXL
Director: Gregory Jacobs
Writer: Reid Carolin
Sequel to: Magic Mike
Cast: Channing Tatum, Joe Manganiello, Kevin NashMatt Bomer, Gabriel Iglesias, Adam Rodriguez, Amber Heard, Jada Pinkett SmithDonald GloverStephen Boss, Andie MacDowell, Elizabeth Banks
Seen on: 8.8.2015

Plot:
Mike (Channing Tatum) is hard at work, trying to get his construction business off the ground. But so far, it hasn’t quite paid off. When he is visited by his former stripper colleagues Richie (Joe Manganiello), Tarzan (Keven Nash), Ken (Matt Bomer) and Tito (Adam Rodriguez), he first declines their invitation to come to Stripper Con to make one big, last splash in the business. But he finally does give in and they are on their way. But one difficulty after the other hits their road trip and since they are all out of money, fortunately most of their problems can be solved by dancing.

Every once in a while, Magic Mike XXL has moments where it is exactly the film I wanted it to be. Unfortunately, for the most part it consists of dreary dialogue scenes and has some of the worst pacing I’ve ever seen in a film.

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Step Up All In (2014)

Step Up All In
Director: Trish Sie
Writer: John Swetnam
Sequel to: Step Up, Step Up 2: The Streets, Step Up 3D, Step Up Revolution
Cast: Ryan Guzman, Briana Evigan, Adam G. Sevani, Misha Gabriel Hamilton, Stephen Boss, Stephen Stevo Jones, David Shreibman, Christopher Scott, Chadd Smith, Cyrus Spencer, Alyson Stoner, Izabella Miko

Plot:
Sean (Ryan Guzman) and his crew The Mob have been trying their luck in LA. But things don’t really work out, so they all want to go home. Only Sean isn’t prepared to give up yet. He comes to Moose (Adam G. Sevani) for help, who manages to find him a place to stay and some work. When Sean finds out about a dance competition that offers the winner a three-year-contract for a show in Las Vegas, he is set on winning it. So he asks Moose who now works as an engineer to join him and together they look for a crew. Fortunately, Moose has met many dancers in his time.

I was rather surprised by Step Up All In. Expecting the usual dance film hilarity (though honestly the Step Up series is probably the best one out there), I of course brought alcohol to wash the cliches down with. But I barely needed it during the film (which is not to say that I didn’t drink it anyway). Not because there aren’t any cliches, but because they are rather entertaining on their own.

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Step Up Revolution (2012)

Step Up Revolution
Director: Scott Speer
Writer: Amanda Brody
Sequel to: Step Up, Step Up 2: The Streets, Step Up 3D
Cast: Ryan Guzman, Kathryn McCormick, Cleopatra Coleman, Misha Gabriel Hamilton, Stephen Boss, Mia Michaels, Christopher Scott, Adam G. Sevani, Chadd Smith, Mari Koda, Peter Gallagher

Plot:
Sean (Ryan Guzman) is part of The Mob, a dance crew that specializes in flashmob appearances with the videos of which they are trying to win an online contest and make some money. Meanwhile he is still working as a waiter in a hotel belonging to Mr Anderson (Peter Gallagher). When he meets Emily (Kathryn McCormick), the boss’s daughter who dreams of a career as a dancer herself, the two of them hit if off. And when Anderson’s real estate development plans threaten Sean’s neighborhood, he, Emily and The Mob start a series of dance-y protests.

For a dance movie, Step Up is actually quite fine. It does suffer from the usual dance movie clichés (though it manages to skirt some of them by having a slightly different plot than usual), but the choreographies are pretty damn good and it does entertain.

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