Step Up 2 the Streets

"Good"

Step Up 2 the Streets Review


Despite all of the cheap, cheesy, and/or thoroughly unnecessary sequels I've seen on purpose in my time, a second helping of the 2006 dance-romance (ro-dance?) Step Up was not high on my list of potential larks, thanks to dance-movie fatigue in general and the dullness of the first movie in particular. But Step Up 2 is something of a surprise, a teen-dance movie that should please its target audience without pandering -- or without only pandering, at least.

It helps that Step Up 2 is a sequel only in the sense that it, too, is about dancing teens -- so really, you could make a case for You Got Served, Stomp the Yard, Save the Last Dance, and all the rest being a single franchise with more titles than Freddy or Jason, and closing in on James Bond. The near-complete turnover both in front of and behind the camera is healthy for the energy levels, and fans of this type of movie, too, who at least deserve more than the heavy-handed romance of the original (and I use that term loosely).

Yes, the filmmakers apparently arranged their schedules so that rising star Channing Tatum could make a follow-up appearance as Tyler, his character from the first film, but he only passes through Baltimore to pass the soulful-thug torch to his friend Andie (Briana Evigan). I'm not sure that she picks it up; Evigan is too spirited for the kind of brooding Tatum brought to the first installment. Though her character has hit the troubled-kid background jackpot -- a dead mom, an absent dad, and an authority figure (her mom's best friend) who doesn't understand her -- the moping is kept to a minimum. Evigan sounds and even looks a bit like Rashida Jones from The Office, and has a similar raspy spunk; I'm not sure if she's got the makings of a star, but she can carry something lightweight with decent style.

Andie is forced to enroll in the Maryland School of the Arts, which in turn forces her street-dancing crew to drop her, as preparing for occasional, non-paying dance-offs is apparently full-time work. At MSA, Andie finds preppy but like-minded fellow dancer Chase (Robert Hoffman), and eventually they -- wait for it -- band together with other school misfits and form their own crew. No prizes for guessing whether they will eventually engage in an underground dance-off (or, for that matter, for winning that dance-off; I guess it's nice that they do it for love of the dance). The dance organization, by the way, is called the Streets, taking care of one grammatical issue in the film's title while raising another.

The best thing about the movie is the sense of camaraderie between members of Andie's crew; they're not particularly well-developed characters, but the young actors seem to be having fun striking the right balance between movie-ready dance moves and high-school-ready awkwardness. The romance between Andie and Chase isn't much more inspired than the one in the first film, but it sure takes up a lot less time. I personally would've liked to see Andie take a real chance with her spazzy right-hand man Moose (Adam Sevani), but that's asking a bit much of a movie so steeped in cliché.

Speaking of which: Those poor kids still have to contend with the dance-movie screenplay's favorite false dichotomy: that the dancing heroes must be caught between priggish authority figures who consider street-dancing unworthy, no matter how athletic or impassioned, and some kind of rival dancing team who treats the dance-off with deadly seriousness, no matter how good-natured their scrappy-underdog competition. Occasionally, a movie like Bring It On will do away with these clichés, but it's hard to wholeheartedly recommend Step Up 2 as long as funnier, more astute variations like that one still turn up. But give the new movie some credit for being a lot more fun than its namesake: more memorable dances, less forced drama, and an occasional snappy line. So, yes: it's a step up.

That last step's a doozy.



Step Up 2 the Streets

Facts and Figures

Run time: 30 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 23rd February 2008

Box Office Worldwide: $58M

Budget: $17.5M

Production compaines: Summit Entertainment, Offspring Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , , , Patrick Waschberger Screenwriters: Tori Ann Johnson, Karen Barna

Starring: as Andie West, as Chase Collins, as Blake Collins, Cassie Ventura as Sophie Donovan, Adam G. Sevani as Moose, Danielle Polanco as Missy, Telisha Shaw as Felicia, as Tuck, as Jenny Kido, as Cable

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.