out of Five
Running time: 86
Poorly directed and appallingly edited sequel that doesn't even get the dancing right, let alone the plot, dialogue, characters and acting.
What's it all about?
Directed by Max Giwa and Dania Pasquini, Streetdance 2 (3D) is the sequel to the 2010 hit (also directed by Giwa/Pasquini). Falk Hentschel stars as streetdancer Ash, who suffers a humiliating defeat at a dance battle and decides to gather Europe's best streetdancers in order to defeat reigning champions Invincible (Flawless) at an upcoming dance competition.
With likeable new friend Eddie (George Sampson, reprising his role from the first film) acting as his manager, Ash jets off around Europe and quickly assembles a team of kick-ass streetdancers (including real life YouTube sensations Stephanie 'Lil Steph' Nguyen, Delphine 'Deydey' Nguyen, Elisabetta 'Betty Style' Di Carlo, Ali 'Lilou'
Ramdani and Kaito 'Kite' Masai). However, when he meets Salsa dancer Eva (Sofia Boutella), he decides that her Latin stylings fused with his crew's moves might be just the magic ingredient they need to pull off their victory and sets about persuading her to join his team.
Sampson is a likeable screen presence, but he's almost entirely side-lined by an atrocious and frequently confused script that often seems like it's being made up on the spot. Similarly, the dialogue is painfully flat throughout, the performances are extremely wooden (Boutella has a spark but it's wasted) and the characters are paper-thin, to the point where barely anyone on the team even speaks, apart from Ash, Eva or Eddie. As a result there are no sub-plots beyond a romance between Ash and Eva, and Ash attempting to bond with Eva's twinkly uncle Manu (Tom Conti, who deserves better).
Quite apart from anything else, the script (which is shockingly poor, even by the heavily clichéd standards of this kind of film) has some infuriating lapses in logic, such as why Eddie is suddenly a dancing member of the team or why the supposedly cash-strapped Ash and Eddie fly around Europe in the least cost-effective manner imaginable.
Obviously, a dance movie is going to stand or fall primarily on its dance sequences, but Streetdance 2 even fails on this score, since every sequence is so appallingly edited that you never actually see an entire dance play out in front of you, just rapidly chopped bits and pieces. Incredibly, this is even true in the climactic battle sequence, so you don't get any sense of the supposedly jaw-dropping Latin-infused choreography or of the team working together in any meaningful way.
Streetdance 2 is a massive disappointment, thanks to poor direction, an atrocious script, wooden performances, some shockingly bad editing and a series of underwhelming dance scenes. One to avoid.