Okay, so these new wave dance flicks are a dime a dozen, and half of them are just mediocre offerings with one impossible dance move after the next. When `Step Up' came out I really expected nothing from it, but I got a sensational and really, really great movie that had enough heart and chemistry to make it stand out amongst the onslaught of trashy teen dance movies. Really, you need to see it! So, I was excited about the prospects of `Step Up 2: The Streets', but after seeing the trailer I was afraid it was going to be nothing more than a rehash of the same story with different actors.
So I waited.
I am happy (so happy) to say that `Step Up 2: The Streets' does not have the same story, even though it is slightly similar. It does lack the chemistry that made the original so charming, but the lead actress, Briana Evigan, carries enough saucy charm to make up for Robert Hoffman's lack of everything (the guy is kind of gross creepy here).
Andie is a teen with no real purpose. Her mother dies when she was young and she's been living with her mother's best friend. She finds herself at a crossroads when her ties with the infamous 410 (a dance crew) leave her with two options; a prestigious dance school or Texas. Now, I live in Texas, so I understand why she opted for the school. She doesn't fit in (of course) but she finds herself flirting with even more danger when the school legend Chase Collins takes a liking to Andie, and her dance style, and convinces her to join forces with him, and a slew of talented yet overlooked students, in order to take on a street dancing competition. Love develops, feelings are trampled, rivalries are started...and dancing HAPPENS!
Like I said, Evigan is great. She is sensual with a kick of edge that keeps her interesting; and that smoker's voice is just, UGH, so Scarlett Johansson...me loves it! Robert Hoffman is the opposite. He is supposed to be all charming and sweet and lovable but he comes across creepy. The rest of the cast is really just a collection of moving bodies, and they all work well in that respect. Miss Ventura is stunning to look at whether she's moving or standing still, I'll give her that. Black Thomas (yes, that is his name) is respectable as the token gangster (very cliché, but whatever) and Danielle Polanco is quite engaging as the street-smart and genuinely sweet Missy.
But this is not about acting, believe me.
The dancing is insane here, and the final dance scene, in the rain, is just UGH, WOW...that was hot! Yes, I said hot, and I meant that in like every possible way. I did want to mention Adam G. Sevani (who looks like `Year One' version Michael Cera) who is your typical `nerdy kid who befriends outcast' here. The reason I mention him is because his Michael Jackson inspired dace sequence at the end is phenomenal and easily the most memorable part of the entire movie.
So, if you want a fun and entertaining film with lots of dancing then this is the one for you. It doesn't have the `everything' factor that the original had, but it makes up for it in other areas.
See them both.