I have always been a big fan of dance movies, probably because I have had my own personal experiences with dance. I absolutely loved the movie Step Up. Although the plot reminded me a bit of Save the Last dance, I thought that it was a really wonderful movie because Jenna Dewan and Channing Tatum, who played the lead characters, were incredibly talented with both acting and dancing. When I first found out that they were making a sequel to this movie, called Step Up 2 the Streets, I was really excited. Would this movie be as good as the first Step Up movie? Here’s what I thought.
In order to entirely understand why the plot of Step Up 2 the Streets is so bad, you really need to see the first movie. Here’s my brief summary. In the first movie, Tyler Gage, played by Channing Tatum (who you may remember from She’s the Man), has to prove to an art school in one performance that he is ready and willing to change his life. In the movie, he falls in love with a girl named Nora Clark, played by Jenna Dewan. Tyler is a trouble boy in the foster care system who really has never devoted his life to anything and that is exactly what this movie about. Note that Step Up is a movie that’s really worth seeing if you have not done so yet and my summary of it does not do it any justice.
Fast forward to Step Up 2 the Streets. We now learn that Tyler apparently lived in a foster family where he had a foster sister name Andie, played by Briana Evigan. When her mother passed away due to cancer, she asked her best friend Sarah to take care of Andie. Sara threatens to send Andie to her aunt’s home in Texas when she becomes involved with a street dancing crew that gets into a lot of mischief. Enter former foster brother Tyler, who gets Andie an audition at the Maryland School the Arts (MSA), where she will have the opportunity to fix her own life, if she wants to. Andie finds that she is unable to give up her life of street dancing, but after she lies to her crew, they want no part of her. Chase Collins, who is played by Robert Hoffman (who you may also remember from She’s the Man), comes up with the idea of starting a street dance crew at MSA. In order to prove themselves, they need to compete at a street battle called “The Streets,” but find many obstacles along the way.
Did I Like the Plot?
I didn’t like the plot of Step Up 2 the Streets for several reasons. The main reason that I really did not like it was because I felt as though it was entirely thrown together when the producers realized that they could make a lot of money off this movie. It is obvious that Andie’s character was written in after Step Up, as there was no mention of her whatsoever in the first movie. Since Tyler was a foster child, it was just convenient for her character to be written in later on.
I also felt as though the plot was very abrupt. The movie opens with the street crew that Andie was a part of getting into some trouble. It is supposed to be breaking news and is later explained, but it really makes you wonder what is going on. The entire plot is just about entirely unrelated to the original Step Up, which is why it doesn’t all come together quite right.
Instead of emphasis being put on the school of the arts, we are drawn into this movie about street dance competitions. It would be make more sense if it was another Bring it On movie rather than the sequel to Step Up. Another one of the things that bothered me is that a lot of racial stereotypes are brought up in this movie, as the two street dance crews that are competing against each other are pretty much black vs. white. Racial issues were not brought up in the first movie and, if anything, it was more about people of all different races coming together.
I especially do not like the fact that the only character from Step Up that’s in the second movie is Tyler, even though references to Nora were made. He was also only in the movie for a few brief minutes, even though the commercial made it appear as though he had a slightly larger role. I have personally found that any movie which does not include the original characters is not usually worth seeing and Step Up 2 the Streets is a fine example of this.
Although I have only ever seen Robert Hoffman in one another movie and I have not seen Briana Evigan in anything else, I am pretty sure that they’re not bad actors. However, I do think that the characters in Step Up 2 the Streets failed miserably. The reason that I believe that they failed is because we do not learn enough information about them to truly relate. The characters are not fully developed.
For what it was, I thought that the choreography in Step Up 2 the Streets was pretty good. While I do have some complaints about this, it really just goes back to the ridiculous plot of this movie. In Step Up, we saw a focus on ballet and street dance combined with one another, which really just lead to modern dancing. In Step Up 2 the Streets, however, all that we see is street dancing. It’s not bad street dancing, but it seems to take a lot away from the entire idea of Step Up, which was focused mainly on the arts.
Strategies Used to Make a Profit
There were several things in the previews that were way off base. For example, the singer Cassie is in the movie. The previews made it appear as though she had a fairly large when, in fact, she had a very minor role. They also make it seem as though the hit song “Low” by Flo Rida featuring T. Pain is consistently used throughout the movie when it is only in it for about two minutes. The preview to Step Up 2 the Streets is probably one of the falsest ones that I have ever seen.
Overall, I can say that I really did not care for Step Up 2 the Streets. I give it 2 out of 5 stars and that is only because the choreography was decent. I think that the plot was quickly thrown together so that the producers could just drum in money and because of that, I believe that the entire movie suffered severely. While I would recommend anyone to watch Step Up, I cannot say the same thing about Step Up 2 the Streets.