“What’s the point in trying if you don’t try your best?” implores a merciless rapper in the climactic scene of Street Dance 2. A film that tries its very best to emulate all others of its genre. The constant back to back flips interspersed with lazy love scenes almost render it lost on anyone over age 12. Except for one thing – it’s funny. Even if you’re not sure why.
But first, let’s talk about George Sampson. George Sampson is the second series winner of Britain’s Got Talent, aged 14. Since then he’s moonwalked his way into the media to finally, at the ripe old age of 18, adopt the elusive ‘Actor/Singer/Whatever’ status. How this qualifies him to play Eddie, the manager of Street Dance 2’s ‘right on’ eclectic dance group (you know, the one you’re meant to want to win as opposed to the other one), remains a mystery. The fact he still looks around 12, however, does not.
Eddie wastes no time in appearing out of nowhere to aid Will Young lookalike Ash on his quest to find the world’s best movers to beat American crew Invincible (Boo!) at some dance off or other. If finding people with madcap names that sounds like they’re all spawn of Bob Geldof (Bam Bam, Yoyo and Scorpion anyone?) wasn’t enough, Eddie unveils his wildcard in the form of Ava, a sexy seniorita Ash quickly decides he has to, erm, dance with. Yeah.
Ash and Ava soon get down to business. That is, a dance off in a downtown Latina night joint. But this is where things get crazy because it’s not any old joint… it’s Ava’s uncle’s joint. Bet you didn’t see that coming. He soon grows from cameo role to main star, humouring us with his chilli con carne (Ash is hot for Ava but is the chilli too hot for Ash?) and dating advice (‘I know those guys… I was those guys’). Proving not just every family needs a funny uncle but perhaps every film, too. Or at least one brilliant oddball.
Meanwhile the multicultural super group is getting on like one big foster family; they even have a slow motion pillow fight to establish just how well they’re getting along. They also dance a bit, too, though barely enough for us not to wonder what the point of them for the majority of the film is. The will-they-won’t-they tension between Ash and Ava, while almost too predictable to bear, supersedes us knowing much else about the other characters. We’ll never find out what Bam Bam has for lunch, for example. That said, it has to be meatier than his dialogue.
The film ends with an unexpected twist (kind of), some suspiciously fast outfit changes and of course one helluva dance off. Throw in a catchy soundtrack and the result is a fun, though not life-changing, dance movie that may become your guilty pleasure. And did I mention it’s in 3D?
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