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Streetdance 2 - DVD Review

Streetdance 2

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

WHAT is there to say about Streetdance 2 that hasn’t already been said about countless other dance movies from Step Up to the original Streetdance? Not much really.

As with practically every movie in the dance genre, the film is kind of fun while it keeps things moving but comes to a shuddering, cliché-ridden halt whenever the music stops.

In the case of Streetdance 2, however, this shortcoming feels even more acute given its supposedly inspirational ideology behind it.

The plot finds a once humiliated American streetdancer named Ash (Falk Hentshel) teaming up with new friend and manager Eddie (George Sampson) to beat the world’s best dance crew by enlisting the greatest streetdancers from around Europe. In the process, he falls for a beautiful salsa dancer named Eva (Sofia Boutella) and decides to fuse streetdance with salsa.

Co-directors Max Giwa and Dania Pasquini are to be applauded for the gusto they bring to a lot of the dance sequences, which are as breathless and well choreographed as you might expect.

An early salsa dance-off in a boxing ring delivers a sweaty, sexy highlight, while several of the latter competitions between the various dance rivals succeed in hitting some crowd-pleasing highs.

But there’s no getting away from the one flaw that undermines the movie – its chronic lack of originality.

Given that the story places such a heavy emphasis upon being original and attempting to do something different, the film itself is content to trot out every cliché in the book, while borrowing from countless other movies such as The Magnificent Seven, Ocean’s 12 and any other dance movie you care to mention.

Where the original Streetdance used ballet as a plot device, this one merely uses salsa. And there’s also the age-old romance, which finds Ash having to overcome a disapproving uncle (a comically mis-cast Tom Conti) and a frail confidence to claim the unlikely girl of his dreams.

But even that follows exactly the same trajectory as every other romantic comedy or drama out there, right down to the inevitable last act break-up and reunion.

Sadly, Hentshel’s Ash is cursed with a severe lack of charisma, making it even harder to want to take the journey with him.

Boutella does, however, deliver a suitably star-making turn that’s by turns sassy, sexy and occasionally vulnerable and she emerges as the film’s biggest asset.

But there’s very little else to recommend it. Hence, while fans of the original may get whay they’re seeking from this follow-up, for the majority Streetdance 2 is yet another painful example of why the dance movie genre is in dire need of a shake-up.

Certificate: PG
Running time: 86mins
UK Blu-ray & DVD Release: July 23, 2012