With the rising prevalence of street dance reality TV stars, StreetDance 2 is well placed to show off UK home grown talent and inject further excitement for what they can achieve. It does just that and parallels the storyline by recruiting some of the best street dance acts in Europe to take this sequel to greater heights. The effervescent passion and energy exuding from the ‘Popcorn Crew’ dancers during the set pieces is exhilarating.
However, this is where the hype ends. The storyline is the exhausted “dancers (from different backgrounds) facing hardship, entwined in a love story” that we have become so accustomed to seeing; Save The Last Dance, Step Up – need I carry on? Boy – breakdancer Ash (Falk Hentschel) meets girl – latin dancer Eva (Sofia Boutella renowed as the Nike Girl). They fuse their dance styles, they fall in love, they face adversity and come out the other end smiling, kissing and winning. Been there, done that. Boring.
Apart from the opening scenes where Ash gets his ‘Popcorn Boy’ nickname, there is no sense that you’re watching a 3D movie; only when the 3D glasses are sliding down your nose and you have to push them back up! And the dialog is so stilted, you wonder why they didn’t just let them do the dancing and not get involved in the acting. Although the movie features winning stars from both Britain’s Got Talent and Got to Dance, it’s almost as if everyone behind the scenes had forgotten that their forte is dancing and not acting; Eva and Ashs off-hand insouciance towards each other throughout is reminiscent of scenes in school playgrounds. Tom Conti’s (Eva’s Uncle) spanish-sounding accent leaves much to be desired and George Sampson’s loveable cheeky-chappy role makes you wonder if he’s really having to work that hard to play the role.
So, you must be prepared upfront to understand that the screenplay or those acting it out are not what is going to provide the entertainment value. For me, the saving grace was definitely the music and the moves. I was enraptured by the fusion of break-beats and latino sounds and dying to get off my seat and join in. Unfortunately a simple nod of the head to the music had to suffice so as not to cause any embarrassment to myself in a sea of over-excited tweens.
This being a “home-grown” movie I thought it a shame that Vertigo Films UK had decided to use famed US choreographer duo Rich and Tone to further build on the achievements of StreetDance and outdo it in box offices. Judging from the popularity and skill of recent acts such as Diversity and The Surge (appearing as dance crew Flawless) it is evident that there is enough talent in the UK to not have to go running to the US for the stamp of success. But that’s just my opinion. On a plus point however, the movie is laced with songs from British artists such as Wretch32 (Orthodox), Jessie J (Domino) and with the lead single being Shepherd Bush’s very own Angel with Go In, Go Hard.
This is movie is definitely one for the kids, but with an undeniable underlying feel good vibe, StreetDance 2 will have you crunkin’ and krumpin’ (or at least trying to) all the way home!
StreetDance 2 hits cinemas 30th March 2012.
Directors: Max Giwa, Dania Pasquini
Stars: George Sampson, Tom Conti, Falk Hentschel
Runtime: 85 min