Written by Pollo Misterioso
There has been a new genre of dance films that seem to be doing very well at the box office, and to think they play like 90-minute music videos. Step Up 2 The Streets is the newest dance film that incorporates dance troupes and drama that makes for a visually entertaining film that is predictable, but gratifying.
Films that incorporated dance have been around for ages (we all remember Saturday Night Fever and Footloose), but now they are taking the most popular dance tunes and constructing them around a character that just needs to dance. Step Up 2 is not necessarily a sequel to the popular film Step Up but instead introduces a new cast and a new set of problems, but in the same setting.
Andie (Briana Evigan) is a part of a dance crew called the 410; they street dance and battle at a local club. Unfortunately, her mother has passed away and she is living with a family friend who does not want to deal with her irresponsibility and recklessness anymore. Threatened with a move to Texas, Andie auditions and gets into the Maryland School of the Arts for dance. Her time is torn between school and her crew, resulting in her getting kicked out of the 410 so she must now form her own crew to be able to show up at the streets.
The characters in the film don’t develop much past their dancing technique. We spend the most time watching Andie struggle as she tries to form a crew that she is not ashamed of. Of course there is also a love interest, but that also is most fun to watch only when they are dancing, the mild flirting that does happen is more awkward than interesting.
This film is about dance and it does not try to be something that it is not. Sure the story is calculated and the lines might be cheesy (especially the ending speech that Andie gives at the end), but that is not the point. These characters can dance and there is something so pleasing about watching professional dancers try to pull off their best moves.
The music is current and the moves are incredible. Watch out for flips and dives that happen in the background. Our main character is a pretty face to follow, but there are other dancers that shine in the film.
This film is part of a genre that combines elements of musicals and older dance films, with the fresh and competitive spirit of television shows as So You Think You Can Dance. Don’t expect to be overwhelmed by this movie, especially in comparison to older classics that combine dance and drama. Step up 2 is stimulating and easy to watch, so just enjoy it for what it is.
The DVD extras include a couple featurettes, “Through Fresh Eyes; The Making of Step Up 2” follows around the director Jon Chu and “Outlaws of Hip Hop: Meet the 410” is an interesting look at how they came up with the choreography. Other extras include music videos from the songs used and deleted scenes.