StreetDance 2

Fri, Mar 30, 2012, 01:00

Directed by Max Giwa, Dania Pasquini. Starring Sofia Boutella, Falk Hentschel, Flawless, George Sampson, Tom Conti, Akai Osei-Mansfield PG cert, general release, 90 min

YOU’RE FAMILIAR with the famous Lennon lyric: “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans”? Well StreetDance 2 is the dance flick that happens when the cast are busy dancing.

It takes all of maybe five seconds and an opening credit sequence – replete with animated map! – for the (superior) follow-up to the wildly successful StreetDance 3D to establish the crucial details: a massive Parisian dance off looms, visiting American Ash (Falk Henstschel) is humiliated when he squares up to London’s Invincible crew, and before you can say “you’ve been served”, it’s on.

Ash and George Sampson (one of the few carryovers from the original) quickly hit the streets of Europe to scout for the continent’s craziest feet. A dizzying montage takes in traditional tourist attractions – the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the purse-snatchers of Rome, the farting goats of Prague – and introduces us to the Euro-Zone’s finest B-Boys.

Inevitably, being foreigners, they’re all called things like Skorpion with a “k”. Inevitably, being a dance picture, somebody says: “How on earth is Latin going to help us win a street dance battle?” And the fusion has begun.

You wouldn’t say that StreetDance 2 is the week’s most sophisticated entertainment, but it is the most fun. An impressionistic variant on the Step Up subgenre, the film-makers only just remember to insert a late footnote whereby Ash walks out on the crew and Latin babe Eva (Sofia Boutella) before he comes to his senses.

The scantily sketched content, oddly, turns out to be the movie’s greatest asset. This is a dance film with – wait for it – actual dancing. Fast cuts and cheat shots are out as two sets of choreographers (Americans Rich + Tone Talauega and Latin specialists Maykel Fonts + Sharna Burgess) commit some of the best moves of the decade to celluloid. The 3D adds a fun gloss – here come the floating feathers! – to exquisite breaks.

But will it be enough to beat The Surge (Britain’s Got Talent alumni Flawless) in the famous Paris, erm, coliseum? It’s on.