Director: Max Giwa, Dania Pasquini (StreetDance 3D)
Screenplay: Jane English
Producers: Allan Niblo, James Richardson
Starring: Falk Hentschel, Sofia Boutella, George Sampson, Tom Conti
MPAA Rating: PG
Running time: 85 min.
Tthe UK franchise that kicked off a couple of years ago with the release of StreetDance 3D (review) returns in 2012 with the release of StreetDance 2. Dropping the 3D gimmick and introducing a brand new cast of dances, directors Max Giwa and Dania Pasquini travel to France for this leg of the story which continues in the mould of the first though rather than mixing ballet and street dance, this time around we have the marriage of street dancing and Latin moves.
Falk Hentschel stars as Ash, a dancer trying to redeem himself as a capable dancer after a failed attempt to impress the world’s best. He meets up with Eddie, the first of many recognizable faces from the first film, who helps him build the best dance team in Europe but being the best isn’t enough and the duo hatch a plan to introduce Latin moves into the equation. They convince the crew that this is the way to go and bring the sultry Eva (Sofia Boutella) into the picture but as expected, the relationship between Ash and Eva heads North leaving the crew in a bind.
Predictability is a staple in these movies, all of which follow a tried and tested formula but some handle the material better than others and though Giwa and Pasquini managed to find a bit of magic in the first film, it’s sadly lacking in this sequel. The dance sequences, particularly the opening Lating sequence, are great, but this movie, more than the others, it chalk full of dance montages, only a few of which are really great. It certainly doesn’t help that the leads who are supposed to be sharing a steamy relationship, have zero chemistry. It says a lot when the film’s best romantic moment comes from the great Tom Conti teaches the group the essentials of Latin dancing with a woman young enough to be his grand daughter. The sequence is fantastic but sadly, the film fails to achieve anything even remotely sexy from that point on.
As for the final showdown, one would expect that all the stops would be pulled and the crowds would be wowed by the performance but sadly, the underground battle that precedes the final showdown is much more exciting than anything the film has to offer in the final ten minutes.
StreetDance 2 certainly has some great moves but it lacks any sort of emotional centre, regardless of how cheese that emotional core tends to be. This franchise needs a recharge if it plans on staying afloat long enough for a third movie because at this rate, it’s bound to lose out to the bigger, shinier franchise of Step Up and as much as I’m still hoping for something with a little more heart (like that now long forgotten How She Move), I’ll take the glitzy, over the top dance sequences shoved into a cheese romance over this bland little offering any day of the week.
StreetDance 2 is available on DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday, July 24th.
DVD Extras: None.
Click “play” to see the trailer: