‘Step Up 2 The Streets’ big on beats, short on acting

Tawny Gestuvo

The new cast of ‘Step Up 2 The Streets’ stays true to the cheesy old ways of the original, and again, acting is just another excuse to dance.

The opening scene preludes to skilled choreography that is sporadically situated throughout the movie. Director John Chu knows people don’t come to movies of this sort for award winning acting, and he floods the scenes with energetic dance sequences and product placement.?

The movie tends to leave out any realistic social concerns of class, gender and race. The overdone portrayal of Andie (Briana Evigan), a troubled urban youth, is annoying and painful to watch. Though the storyline is not reflective of any social realities, the movie definitely tried to seem important for the whole 98 minutes.

During the waiting time between dance scenes, the dialogue is accompanied by heavy emphasis on the athletic brands Under Armour and Adidas. The Sidekick cell phone chimes in as multiple characters distinctly use it.?If no one pays attention to the storyline, it’s probably because of the poor acting, midriff tops, lifted left pant leg and product ads in every scene.

Only one original cast member made it back to the streets of Baltimore where “Step Up” left off. Now a success, Tyler Gage (Channing Tatum) challenges Andie to a dance-off at a club called the “Streets.”

Dedicated to her dance crew the “410,” Andie struggles to get her priorities straight. On the verge of being sent to live with her aunt in Texas, Gage cuts in. He manages to convince her guardian Sarah (Sonja Sohn) that she can change her ways. He encourages Andie to follow his path and audition for the Maryland School of the Arts.?

She auditions for MSA and is admitted through the feedback of a student, who is the founder’s son Chase (Robert Hoffman). Despite hesitations on the judging panel, they accept her and she becomes the “street dancer” charity case. ?

Without lifting a finger, Andie is given another chance to stay in Baltimore.

While, investing her time at MSA she neglects her dance 410 and is booted out of the crew. Impressed by the group’s competitive force, Chase paves the way for them to create their own dance crew.

This is the beginning of the over exaggerated tensions between the two as they struggle to make it in the dance world.

There are absolutely no boundaries to what is too clich’eacute; in this movie. The acting gets to the point where situations are just too down right predictable, and the movie becomes even more unbelievable. When it is hard to believe the acting can get worse, a random dance sequence makes its way through the dialogue.

Chu does not offer up any smooth transitions to cue choreography. Then again it’s a dance movie – who expects that anyway? The introduction of the quirky and likeable supporting cast is the saving element of the movie. Moose (Adam G. Sevani) is the best character in the movie. The socially inept group brings laughter to the screen, and keeps the sinking storyline afloat. The group meshes well with their characters and they prove that they are not as na’ve as the rest of the cast.

Other than being just another teen movie, ‘Step up 2’ provides a great soundtrack that perfectly complements the matchless choreography. Featuring music from Missy Elliott to Enrique Iglesias, the soundtrack delightfully reflects the diversity that is embraced in this film.

For those waiting for a breakthrough dance movie with grade A acting, this isn’t it. With the right mindset, anyone can manage their way through this movie. If you ignore the bad acting, you’ll realize that the dancing is fun and the music is hoppin’, and that’s enough to keep the movie afloat.