To put it out there: No it's not a good movie in terms of acting, story, plot etc. but, it is fun which is why I'm giving it the score I am.
So to get it out of the way, I'll talk about the negatives of the films first. The problems in this film shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. The story and plot are pretty much non existent, what a shocker. Though, I do applaud the filmmakers for moving past dance battles. However, as unmemorable and cliched the plot was in the third movie it was better than the story and plot in this movie. The dialog in some parts was good but laughable in others.
The next and last thing is the acting. Now this has been a problem for all the Step Up movies. The actors (specifically the leads) were always good at the dancing part that was required of their roles but when it came to the actual acting parts, they were all terrible. The same thing is evident here. While the performances between Guzman and McCormick weren't horrendously bad, they could have been much better. These two have potential, had they been under the direction of someone else they could have been good. I will say that there was at least some chemistry between Guzman and McCormick which was missing in the last film. There were also some nice scenes between them but, like every other Step Up movie the romance aspect gets shoved aside in favor of the dance sequences. I really had no problem with the supporting cast since none of them really had to do much.
So now to the positives of the film. Like in the previous movie the dance sequences are exhilarating. They are incredibly well choreographed and they're the main reason why people come to see these films now. As I stated in my review of the third movie, this really sets the bar high for any dance movies in the future. The visuals as well are amazing and have improved from the last movie. These dance sequences were fun and engaging and thankfully took up 60% of the running time.
The 3-D was definitely worth it. This is the way 3-D should be used and this is probably one of the best uses of 3-D this year (along with Prometheus and Avengers) as well as the past few years. It enhances the experience by bringing us into the dancing and feeling like were a part of it with diversions (like sand, water, and sparks being thrown at our faces) and dancers coming out of the screen into our faces. It helps that this movie was filmed in 3-D like Prometheus was. Director Scott Speer not only uses the 3-D effectively but manages to avoid the common pitfalls of it. Such us dimness, and blurriness. It's crisp, clear and bright.
The setting is beautiful and it's nice to be out of Manhattan. The production designs were fantastic my favorite being the art gallery. That was just incredible. Scott Speer manages to get some nice shots of Miami that they look like they could appear on a postcard. In fact in some scenes while the actors were talking my attention diverted to the beautiful backgrounds with the nice palm trees and clear blue waters.
The soundtrack was great, each song fit the dances perfectly and the dancers danced to each beat perfectly and accurately.
Conclusion: Like every other Step Up movie there was hardly a story or plot, some laughable dialogue, and some wooden performances. Everything else was great, the dance sequences were terrific, they were extremely well choreographed, the 3-D was used effectively, the production designs were good, the setting was beautiful, the leads at least had chemistry even if their performances weren't that great, there were some nice moments in the romance, and the soundtrack was just as good this time around. For the next movie, if there ever will be one. The filmmakers should either abandon a story altogether and make a 90 minute 3-d music video rather than trying to shoestring in a story to connect the films impressive dance sequences or actually hire real actors who can act and someone who can come up with a decent screenplay. If the movie had a better story, better acting, better screenplay, to accommodate the dance sequences this would have been an amazing film. For those of you who just want to see this movie for the exhilarating dance sequences and can ignore the horrible story, wooden acting, and sometimes laughable dialogue like me, you won't be disappointed and you'll probably have as much fun as I did. For anyone who is looking for a good story etc. look elsewhere.