Movie/DVD Review: Step Up 2 The Streets

Quote: “The best part of the Streets is not what you got, it’s what you make of what you got.” – Andie West

Film: Step Up 2 The Streets
Starring: Briana Evigan, Robert Hoffman, Adam Sevani, Will Kemp, Cassie Ventura
Studio: Summit Entertainment
Originally Released: February 14, 2008
Watched: October 17, 2008 via Netflix
Ebert Rating: N/A
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 24%
My Netflix Rating: *** (Liked It)
Wikipedia Entry

Synopsis

Andie West is an aspiring street dancer from the rough side of town. Her mother dead and in the care of an “aunt,” her “family” is the 410, the city’s top street dance group/gang who are ruthless both in competition and in lifestyle. Heading down the wrong path and about to be shipped off to other family due to “behavior problems” family friend Tyler Gage (making a reappearance from the first film) helps Andie secure a spot in the prestigious Maryland School of Arts where she is linked up with top notch dance instruction and hooks up with the “right crowd.” Disowned by the 410 Andie organizes her new “family” at the MSA to take on the 410 in “The Streets,” Baltimore’s biggest street dance competition. It’s on as the 410 and the MSA Crew battle head to head in the Streets — both figuratively and literally.

Thoughts

This film is a lot like porn in the sense that it’s more about the “action” than the “story.” The star of the movie, like in Step Up, is the dancing and this film lacks no shortage of dance. I would go so far to say as that the film’s storyline is driven and plotted around the dance scenes as opposed to the story driving the dance (again, like porn). In other words, if you watch this film be prepared for amazing dance sequences instead of compelling storytelling. Of course while sparse on storyline, the film does have a positive message about the power of dance to bring people of different types and backgrounds together as Andie so eloquently puts it at the end of the film in her speech at the Streets competition.

DVD Features

Being a music and dance movie, the DVD features on this release rule 8X over with the addition of the music videos from the soundtrack. Other than that it’s the list of usual assorted features you come to expect n these things. Here’s the listing of gems on this release:

  1. Deleted Scenes (with optional commentary track by Director John Chu): 8 deleted scenes (approximately 16 minutes worth of footage)
  2. Music Videos:  “Low” by Flo Rida feat. T-Pain, “Ching-A-Ling/Shake Your Pom Pom” by MIssy Elliott, “Killa” by Cherish feat. Yung Joc, “Hypnotized” by Plies feat. Akon, “Let It Go” by Brit & Alex, Outtakes from the film to Cassie’s “Is It You”
  3. “Through Fresh Eyes: The Making of Step Up 2” – 12 minute “behind-the-scenes” featurette.  Director John Chu talks about making the film and his own personal background in film.  Interesting to note how much YouTube and MySpace played a role in his research of dance styles.
  4. “Outlaws of Hip Hop:  Meet the 410” – 5 minutes.  The actors who play the 410 talk about their love of the dance.  It’s all about the love of the dance 🙂
  5. Robert Hoffman Video Prank – 2 minutes.  This was pretty lame…

The Verdict

This movie was alright. The storytelling wasn’t really there as it was basically the “King of the Streets” vs. the “Upstart/Outcast” group for bragging rights. The real reason to see this film is for the sick dance sequences which this film has in spades. Of course that is not to say the film doesn’t have a good point to learn from. Andie says it best at the end of the film that it’s about the love of the dance as that’s a commonality that brings everyone, regardless of background, together. Amen to that.  Sign me up for lessons!

Is the DVD worth the purchase? If you love hip-hop then I’d say most definitely. The music videos from this DVD release set it apart from others. Of course you could probably find these videos (and hundreds like them) on YouTube but that’s beside the point. If you’re not much into hip-hop, dance or music then stick with the rental.

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