Let me preface this by saying you should know right away whether “Step Up 2: The Streets” is the type of movie you’d go for. Dance movies are a genre of movies you either love or you hate and for me I love them. Sure the plots are pretty thin but that’s not why you go into these flicks, it’s about the dancing. So if you’re going into this movie purely for the dance routines then you’ll adore this movie and I have to say the story is pretty fun as well, but as thin as they come.
Andie (Briana Evigan) is a orphaned teen who’s only family is her dance crew. After running into some trouble her foster mother decides to send her to an estranged aunt in Texas. With the help of old friend Tyler Gage (Channing Tatum), she’s able to convince her aunt to hold off on Texas and let her redeem herself by getting into the prestigious Maryland School of the Arts. Once she’s in though everything becomes harder as Andie struggles to conform to the schools standards of dance and keep her old street life. With the help of some outcasts and local MSA legend Chase (Robert Collins), Andie and the group try to enter the rough and tumble dance competition “The Streets.”
I loved the first “Step Up” and have to admit I thought this sequel was going to be terrible, that’s probably why I waited to watch it on DVD. While this won’t go down in history with movies like “Dirty Dancing” it is a great movie to waste some hours with. The story is fun and the characters are all likeable. Newcomer Briana Evigan has the right balance of strong and sweet that makes her seem like a normal girl-next-door that you can root for. Dancer Robert Hoffman is also decent as the love interest. What allows these actors to carry the film is how they move. They all have some dancing experience for the most part and the dance routines are intense. The final dance sequence where the group must dance while being soaked in water was innovative and fun. I actually found myself going back to watch it and see the intricate steps. It was also nice to see Channing Tatum from the first film make an appearance and update on the characters from the first movie.
Other than the dance sequences the story is as thin as crepe paper. The plot is extremely formulaic and from the word “go” you know every...step…this movie will make (sorry had to throw that in). Don’t expect anything unique in terms of plot and characters.
The bonus material on this was pretty extensive for a movie like this. While it’s not all good there was more than I expected. There are 8 deleted scenes with commentary with the director Jon Chu. The commentary is optional but it’s always fun to hear the director explain why some scenes were cut. There are two deleted dance routines, one with the famous Jabbawokeez from MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew.” I find them a bit creepy with the masks and could see why the two dance routines were cut. There are also a few additional scenes that include a dropped subplot. There were fun to watch but I could understand why they didn’t fit. Next is the “Through Fresh Eyes: The Making of Step Up 2” featurette. The title is a bit misleading because while it is about the making of the film for the most part you hardly spend any time with the actors or the dance crew that the story revolves around. Most of the featurette is about the director Jon Chu, there are even interviews with his parents. It’s not that Chu isn’t a nice guy but I would have actually liked to have seen how the film was made. He does show how the final dance routine was pulled off but I just didn’t see how this was a “making of.” This goes into the next featurette “Outlaws of Hip Hop: Meet the 410” which talks to the rival dance crew in the film. It was interesting to hear their thoughts on dance and how they were dancers turned actors. The last bonus feature is the “Robert Hoffman Prank” which I did not understand. It follows star Robert Hoffman and the dance crew at a 7-11. I thought this was way too fake to be a genuine prank and it just seemed childish and out of place. There are also six music videos that really weren’t anything you can’t find on MTV. There are also some standard movie trailers and two Easter Eggs that were really boring.
I have to give “Step Up 2: The Streets” a 3/5, I think it’s a decent film. The DVD only gets a 2.5/5 for some pretty pointless bonus material. It’s a rental at best if you like dance movies.