STEP UP 2 THE STREETS
MOVIE: **1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5)
Briana Evigan as ANDIE
Robert Hoffman as CHASE COLLINS
Adam G. Sevani as MOOSE
Will Kemp as BLAKE COLLINS
Cassie Ventura as SOPHIE
Danielle Polanco as MISSY
Directed by: John Chu
BY KEVIN CARR
Two years ago, the teen dance movie “Step Up” took the box office by storm. This was one of those films that critics like me looked at in the upcoming release chart and dismissed without thinking much about it. And while it never hit number one at the box office, it scored a respectable second place to Will Ferrell’s “Talladega Nights” and went on to be wildly profitable.
The release of “Step Up 2 the Streets” had a similar success story, never reaching number one but scoring healthy ticket sales. It sold well at the box office this February and has paved the way for a 3D sequel, coming in 2010.
To say this film (and any other dancing competition film) is formulaic is an understatement. However, formalism is entirely forgivable when you look at the marketplace. Films like “Step Up 2 the Streets” plays to a particular audience and doesn’t try to reach out further than that. It definitely serves its purpose, and who can argue with that.
This film follows another wayward teen who is trying to break out of her low-rent neighborhood. She’s part of a street dance crew, and after getting in trouble one too many times, she agrees to go to an elite art school to stay straight. While there, her street dancing technique is downplayed by the classical artists, but with the help of a prize student, she’s able to assemble a crew and head to an underground dance competition.
The urban elements are a bit thick in this film, with so much slang thrown around by both players and wannabes, it’s a little hard for an old fart like myself to get into the characters. But the story is fluffy enough that I was able to handle it.
The dance sequences are the highlights, as with many of these films, and any heavy urban drama is overshadowed by the generally positive message to follow your dreams. Newcomer Briana Evigan is quite fetching in the lead (especially during the final dance sequence… why don’t more people dance in the rain?), able to balance her acting with her dancing talent. And fortunately, there’s only a cameo of Channing Tatum to deal with in this film.
Clearly made for the teenage crowd, “Step Up 2 the Streets” works for its target audience.
The DVD comes with deleted scenes with plenty of dancing, a slew of music videos, outtakes, a somewhat dry video prank by the lead characters, a spotlight on the dance crews and a general behind-the-scenes documentary.