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FILM REVIEW: Streetdance 2 (PG)

There is no accounting for taste.

Despite a flimsy, contrived script and uneven performances, the 2010 British film StreetDance 3D found considerable favour with home-grown audiences, amassing over £10 million at the UK box office.

The dance sequences melded street and ballet styles with verve and included performances from Britain’s Got Talent crews Diversity and Flawless to a high-energy soundtrack.

Directors Max Giwa and Dania Pasquini treat us to more of the same with StreetDance 2, which recycles the linear plot of the first film, replacing the jetes and pirouettes with the swivelling hips of salsa and the tango.

The narrative may be second-hand but almost the entire cast is new - a motley crew of gym-toned girls and muscular boys with all the right moves but scant heartfelt emotion.

Talented street dancer Ash (Falk Hentschel) seizes his one shot at glory during a high-profile competition but falls flat on his face in front of a booing crowd and reigning champions Invincible.

Dusting himself off, he meets wise-cracking Eddie (George Sampson), who suggests they join forces to create a crew from around the world with the potential to dethrone Invincible.

“I could be your Yoda,” quips Eddie lamely, who labours under the illusion that Star Wars references are still hip.

So the young men criss-cross across Europe, seeking out the most imaginative, daring and supple performers to fill the ranks of their ramshackle squad.

Arriving in sun-dappled Paris, they meet bar owner Manu (Tom Conti) and his sexy niece Eva (Sofia Boutella), who speaks from the heart through dance.

“We could come up with a fusion of street and Latin that no one has seen before!” gushes Ash, unable to keep his eyes off the sassy lassie.

But first, Ash must learn to dance as part of a crew rather than by himself, which can only be accomplished through music video-style montages and some intense one-on-one with Eva.

“Dance with your heart not your head,” she purrs seductively. “You’re still thinking like a soloist.”

StreetDance 2 is energetic and undemanding, following a predictable narrative path as Ash and Eva fall head over heels in love to a soundtrack of contemporary dance floor anthems.

Conti provides welcome comic relief, making clear to Ash the repercussions for letting down Eva.

“If you hurt her, I will break your legs,” he growls in a cod-Spanish accent resurrected from his glory days in Shirley Valentine that is worth a despairing giggle.

Dialogue is simplistic and supporting characters are defined by signature moves rather than anything that could be considered personalities.

If audiences were willing to forgive the first StreetDance a multitude of screenwriting sins, then the second instalment should body-pop into their affections too.

By Damon Smith

:: SWEARING :: NO SEX :: NO VIOLENCE :: RATING: 5/10

Released: March 30 (UK & Ireland), 85 mins

 

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