Have dance films had their run? In recent years Street dance has become a popular phenomenon thanks to showcases on Britain’s Got Talent. This then saw a string of UK street dance films released hot on the heels of American releases Step Up and You Got Served. The latest offering is StreetDance 2, directed once again by Max Giwa and Dania Pasquini, the people who brought StreetDance 3D to our screens.
The problem with films like this, and it is a criticism that is apparent early, is the plot line. Of course, with this type of film no one is expecting ingenious plot lines or Oscar-winning performances, but the sad fact is that the studios feel there is only one storyline route that can be followed – creating a dance crew to beat the best crew with an added unique twist thrown in. What’s the twist here? A fusion of Street Dance and Latin, of course.
Despite the lacking ingenuity in their story lines, these films are about the dancing and StreetDance 2 features some pretty good dancing. It is one of the better dance films in 3D, much more clever with its editing than Step Up 3D or even its predecessor. It focuses its 3D efforts on things that would actually look good in 3D rather than trying to fit it in at every opportunity.
These dance films always feature a clash of styles and a clash of personalities and where those opposites attract. Here we have leading man Ash (Falk Hentschel), who in his heart of hearts is a street dancer and, after being humiliated when taking his first shot at a competition, wants to scour the globe to find the best street dancers to make the ultimate crew to challenge the current champions. Eddie (Britain’s Got Talent Winner George Sampson) returns with a much more involved role and wants to be Ash’s manager. He has the contacts to help Ash find his key people and he knows that they will need something extra special to beat Invincible, a group lead by a guy called Vince. It’s hard to imagine how Eddie can possibly know all of these people but he does. After gathering together a bunch of street dancers with various skills of their own they head to Paris to find the last ingredient and face Invincible in the big tournament.
This is when Eddie suggests mixing street dance with Latin and we see the duo try to convince Eva (Sofia Boutella), Latino club hottie, to join their group. The audience are also treated to a humorous turn by Tom Conti playing Eva’s Uncle (sporting one of the weirdest accents on screen, is it Greek? Is it Italian?). Naturally audiences can see where the storyline is going so there are no big surprises found in StreetDance 2. The chemistry between the two leads is passable and the added humour of Conti blends in nicely. One thing it seems to fail on is the big finale where the audience get to witness the final fusion of styles. After watching the film with all of its rehearsals and build up, the end routine leaves a little to be desired.
StreetDance 2 is a watchable and enjoyable film. It delivers the highly skilled dance routines it promises on the tin. Audiences will enjoy the 3D effects and young kids will want to get home and practice steps in their bedrooms.
Best performance: Sofia Boutella.