StreetDance 2

StreetDance 2

**

Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

If there's one genre of film that ought to be improved by 3D, it's dance. When movement and choreography are everything, adding that extra dimension could really enrich the experience and bring viewers closer to the action. Unfortunately Streetdance 2 never quite makes it work. Instead it very effectively creates the feeling of standing behind people at some distance from the stage one might like to get a better look at.

Next to nobody watches dance films for the plot, which is usually the same anyway: a protagonist who is all out of hope acquires a mentor and overcomes the odds to win a big competition. What matter are the moves and, to an extent, the charisma of the performers. Casting is a challenge as the leads must combine acting and dancing talents. Still, it's hard to figure out how this film ended up with a star so devoid of charisma as Falk Hentschel. He sleepwalks through it, a thoroughly unengaging hero. Fortunately he is accompanied by Latin dancer Sofia Boutella, who is everything she is not. Bringing remarkable confidence to her first feature film role, she oozes charisma and real screen presence as well as proving impressive to watch on the dancefloor.

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This central pair are accompanied by a soft-spoken Tom Conti (cooking as always, like the male Meryl Streep) and by George Sampsn's underdeveloped nerd. The story wisely eschews any pretense of depth and gets its set-up out of the way in the first five minutes, as the cast is rounded out with eight or nine of 'the best dancers in the world' (even as I emerged from the screening I couldn't recall the exact number because they're such nonentities). They're given no room to develop as characters and though a couple of them work hard to establish themselves most might as well be wallpaper. It's clear they're physically capable but all we seem to see from them are half-arsed, underdeveloped routines.

But what about the dance? That's a mixed bag. There are some sizzling routines between the two leads as they practice - Boutella doing most of the work - but the actual streetdancing, the posturing and the choreographed group work, is something of a let-down. As they're outperformed by the casts of several other films in the genre, it's hard to picture these kids winning any world prizes. Streetdance 2 is strictly runner-up stuff.

Reviewed on: 29 Mar 2012
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After suffering humiliation by the crew Invincible, street dancer Ash (Hentschel) looks to gather the best dancers from around the world for a rematch.
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