A sequel of so-so dances, hackneyed plotting and wooden performances
The ‘kids dancing their way out of the ghetto’ trope has been a staple of cinema since the 1950s but taking inspiration from recent US products like Step Up and Stomp the Yard, StreetDance 3D inexplicably became the UK’s most popular homegrown film of 2010 due to the seemingly insatiable public appetite for three-dimensional krumping.
In this speedily-produced sequel, talent show sensation George Sampson returns as self-styled underdog Eddie, who decides to train up muscular American bone-head Ash (Falk Hentschel) to take down the cocky Invincible crew, played by dance group Flawless. Together with Ash’s new squeeze, fiery Eva (Sofia Boutella), Eddie’s assembled crew of misfit international stereotypes make tracks for Paris to engage in jaunty pillow-fights while studying under the expert tutelage of Eva’s father, Manu (Tom Conti), a salsa-master of indeterminate accent. But tempers soon flare, and soon Ash and Eva are wasting their energy doing angst-ridden ‘rage dances’ as the clock slowly ticks down on their stadium confrontation.
Allowing investors from the BBC and the British Film Institute to tick the ‘community outreach’ box on their respective remits, StreetDance 2 is gaudy nonsense aimed squarely at aspiring teenage dancers. Any adults dragged along will inwardly groan at the hackneyed plotting and wooden performances presented by directors Max Giwa and Dania Pasquini, reaching a mirthless nadir when Ash and Manu square up for a chilli-eating competition to impress Eva.
The key element in this genre is the dancing, and StreetDance 2 serves up plenty of fairly hot stuff in terms of salsa and street fusion. Yet despite reverential discussions about the innovations being created, the final performance by Ash’s crew looks disappointingly like all the others. All the sentiments about ‘being all you can be’ fall somewhat flat against the cynically commercial feel of StreetDance 2’s enterprise, which credits the audience with one brain-cell each.
General release from Fri 30 Mar.