Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Step Up 2: The Streets

"I'm rich and you're poor, but let's dance together." This gem of a Family Guy quote pretty much sums up not only Step Up 2, but also Step Up 1, Save the Last Dance, Stomp the Yard, Feel the Noise, and just about every dance movie ever made. As a little aside, yes, the main character is on the poster twice. That's just an example of the care they put into this movie with the hopes that nobody will notice.

"Don't sweat it. Everyone's just hating on you because you're dope." "The streets used to be about showing everybody what's new, not about gaining turf." These and countless other similar lines are what make up Step Up 2. I wish I could find more quotes because they're just so good. Briana Evigan stars as Andie, a street dancing trouble maker who's crew- the 410- are frequently accused of public disturbances and vandalism. It's cool, though, cause they're just dancing. Andie's aunt gets fed up with all of this and threatens to ship her off to Texas if she doesn't enroll in the Maryland Dance academy.

Worlds collide. Andie meets Chase (Robert Hoffman), the brother of one of the faculty members. He struggles to live up to his brother's reputation, and after some not very tense romantic tension, him and Andie form a relationship that never actually goes anywhere. In an attempt to address issues of individuality and alienation, the two of them form a crew with various outcasts from the school. This I appreciated. They went deeper into any content than any other dance movie I've seen. Even if this crew was just made up of stereotypes. Things come to a head though, when they get in trouble with the school, and face off against the 410 at the Streets. (Yeah, The Streets is an actual event, not just....um....the streets).

Of course the centerpiece of this is the dancing. And thankfully, aside from the final number, the dancing is not only spectacular, it's surprisingly not provocative. The movie is essentially devoid of the strip teases we've come to expect from these movies. And the direction of these scenes is handled skillfully. Still, when it comes to a dance movie, I'd rather pop in my old VHS of Newsies.

This movie doesn't try to be anything good. Obviously the script is awful, and the acting is as bland as anything I've ever seen. Every scene is simply just a transition from one dance number to the next. It's like an urban High School Musical. I'm just wondering why, with one best picture nominee that I still haven't seen, did I choose to watch this movie?


1 comment:

Shawn said...

I understand your intentions to be well diversified, but is it necessary for you to force yourself into reviewing movies that are crap thrown together for a quick buck?