Cast: Falk Hentschel, Sofia Boutella, George Sampson
Directors: Max Giwa, Dania Pasquini
The problem with a genre film is that it basically relies on the formula, and the storyteller needs to know innovative ways to fit in the tested rules in the story. 'StreetDance 2' tries to be an underdog story, but unimaginative thinking on the writer's part reduces it to a dance video.
The primary storyline looks like a school drama, where all you need to take care of is the basic structure.
A street dancer cum popcorn boy Ash (Falk Hentschel) dares to challenge the leader of an American dance crew Invincible, but falls flat during the match. Just at the moment when this humiliating defeat starts to take its toll on Ash, a wannabe manager Eddie (George Sampson) infuses the idea of creating his own crew in Ash's mind. The research that Eddie has been doing since long helps the duo to reach out to some of the world's best individual street dancers.
The crew has all types of dancers, but Ash wants the beautiful Latina dancer Eva (Sofia Boutella) to join, in order to get the variety. She eventually joins, and of course falls in love with Ash. After a bit of hiccups, the crew finds themselves in front of a maddening crowd where they are supposed to take on Invincible.
The primary storyline looks like a school drama, where all you need to take care of is the basic structure. More than three quarters of 'StreetDance 2' is dedicated to free style dancing, so all the other ingredients of a typical film were needed to be squeezed within one quarter. The directors Max Giwa and Dania Pasquini have decided to cater to both kinds of the audiences, one who are into contemporary dancing and the others who are more in favour of a romantic story. However, the perfect blend has not been achieved. In fact, the amalgamation has gone terribly wrong.
Jane English's writing fails to impress when it comes to adding depth to the characters. Nobody knows what Ash and Eddie do for their livelihood, and how they fund their endeavour. Individual back-stories of all the gathered dancers are of course out of the question.
The love story between Ash and Eva develops only towards the end. Falk Hentschel tries his best to appear as emotionless as he can, even where he is required to play a guy head over heels in love. Sofia Boutella's charm and expressive face resist the shots of couple-dance from completing fading away from the spectator's memory. Even the lovers of dance based movies would like to know why the weakest dancer of the crew was allowed to present the final performance. Had Falk Hentschel managed to appear an underdog, everything would have been acceptable in the name of the protagonist's win.
'StreetDance 2' is not a gripping tale, not because it's just about dancing, but due to its one track treatment. The philosophies behind different dance types are avoided, apart from a scene where Tom Conti (Manu) gives a very superficial justification of a particular dance style.
Not everything is wrong about the film. Freestyle dancing has been explored well. Apt background score and really happening dance sequences can lift up the mood to some extent. The blend of two entirely dissimilar dancing styles is being done with thoughtful creativity. Thanks to a stylish camera work, some really amazing dance moves have been captured with their true essence intact, but all these good things have happened in supporting departments. The main story remains devoid of many attractive feature.
Overall, 'StreetDance 2' is strictly for the lovers of hardcore dancing.
Rating: 1.5 out of 5.
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