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Movie Review

Step Up 2 the Streets a.k.a. “Step Up 2,” “Step up 2—La strada per il successo,” “Sexy Dance 2,” “To epomeno vima”

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for language, some suggestive material and brief violence

Reviewed by: Christopher Walker

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Musical Dance Romance Teen Drama Sequel
1 hr. 38 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
February 14, 2008 (wide—2,300 theaters)
Copyright, Touchstone Pictures / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Copyright, Touchstone Pictures / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Copyright, Touchstone Pictures / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Copyright, Touchstone Pictures / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Copyright, Touchstone Pictures / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Copyright, Touchstone Pictures / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Copyright, Touchstone Pictures / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Copyright, Touchstone Pictures / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Copyright, Touchstone Pictures / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Touchstone Pictures / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Dancing in the Bible

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Featuring: Robert Hoffman, Briana Evigan, Will Kemp, Jennifer Rouse, Telisha Shaw, Cassie, Tony Devon, Jesus Maldonado, Mari Koda, Adam G. Sevani, [more]
Director: Jon Chu
Producer: Erik Feig, Anne Fletcher, Jennifer Gibgot, Bob Hayward, Meredith Milton, David Nicksay, Adam Shankman, Patrick Wachsberger
Distributor: Touchstone Pictures / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

“It’s not where you’re from. It’s where you’re at.”

TThe original “Step Up” was advertised as the dance for their generation. It premiered opened during the last summer season and quickly became the sleeper hit of the season (much like “Dirty Dancing” did 21 years ago). Now 16 months after, we got the sequel nobody wanted, but surprisingly, it’s a little better than the first. If you’re expecting a plot in “Step Up 2 the Streets”, there is none. The movie’s real strength is the dancing. Who cares about a plot for this kind of movie? It’s cliched, but sometimes they’re worth it.

The movie opens with a narration by the film’s protagonist Andie West (Briana Evigan), who explains that when she was younger there was a different kind of hip-hop/freestyle jam called The Streets that Andie idolized as a child. After an eye-popping opening sequence on a subway train, we are introduced to the story: Andie is a rebel dancer whose mother died when she was younger due to cancer. Her family has always been her dance crew the 410, but after she gets in trouble with her foster mother Sarah who plans on having her moved to Texas. She gets one more chance if she attends school at the Maryland School for the Arts.

Her dance teacher, Buck Collins (Will Kemp) doesn’t like her because her dance moves are “too street” for the academy, but his brother and classmate Chase (Robert Hoffman) believes there’s potential in her. Her crew discovers eventually that she has joined the prestige academy and boots her, which leads Andie to take a huge risk: she decides to form her own crew consisting of Chase, and some of the degenerates at MSA including Moose (Adam Sevani). It gets ready for an all;-out showdown between Andie’s crew and 410.

The only connection besides the family connection is that the series is known for having the debut roles of pop stars: the first movie had pop star Mario while this installment features R and B singer Cassie Ventura. She plays Sophie, the “perfect” student at MS. Even though she doesn’t share any lines with Andie, her facial expressions are her form of communication to let Andie know she’s not welcome.

Cassie makes Sophie almost believable, as does Briana Evigan. If the last name Evigan sounds familiar, it’s because her father is TV actor Greg Evigan (of television shows “My Two Dads” and the short-lived sci-fi series, “TekWar”) and the younger sister of Vanessa (of TV’s short-lived “Social Studies”). Briana appears to be a talented young actress even though this is only her first headliner, and she’s got some serious dance movies. Even Channing Tatum makes a surprise extended cameo appearance, reprising his role as Tyler Gage, which implies the fact that Andie may be Tyler’s sister.

Surprisingly, there isn’t a whole lot of swearing and the violence is left to a minimum. There are some dance moves that might prove too sexually implicit for those younger, but the film was made for a teen audience in mind.

Even with it’s clichéd plot points, I found that “Step Up 2 the Streets”, surprising to admit, is a “Step Up” above the original. It’s main strength comes with the dancing styles and techniques, but this one with a more down-to-earth approach by its cast.

Grade: C (equivalent to ** out of ****)

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Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Neutral—This film wasn't anything special compared to all the other dance films out there. The movie starts out with a storyline then it drops the story and becomes purely only dance. The dancing was amazing especially due to a few actors in particular. Adam Sevani, Rob Hoffman, Mari Koda, and Harry Shum Jr. showed that their dancing abilities aren't the only reason they made the movie, but their acting skills as well. This is Briana Evigan breakthrough film but personally she shouldn't have made the lead for the film. Her acting wasn't that great and her dancing doesn't make up for it. Overall, the film is a big dance video so if you are wanting to see great dancing then go see the movie, but don't expect a story with the film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Teyana, age 18
Comments from young people
Positive—This movie was so good. I own step up and I will buy this one as soon as it comes out on DVD. The acting isn't sexual but some of the dancing is, but in a dancing movie your expect it coming into the movie. It's not like the viewer will be surprised. As many parents may hate it, a lot of “Christian” teens know all those “unclean” songs. I know I knew most of them. If your very conservative, your not going to like the movie, but If you watch many movies and enjoyed “Step Up,” you will really like it!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Susan, age 15
Comments from non-viewers
Negative—I actually did not see this film, but I have seen enough of the previews to know this film is filled with provocative dancing and obscene rap lyrics. I noticed the moral rating was average. I just feel that's not accurate. Just because its a dancing movie doesn't mean its average. I feel movies like this always get categorized as clean movies but just by the clothing and sexual nature of the actors is enough to rate this movie offensive. I wouldn't go see this movie because of that alone.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Gene Cooks, age 32
Movie Critics
…Rather than mixing classical and modern styles the way ‘Step Up’ did, this hip-hop-powered sequel is all about new moves… offers the illusion of edgier fare than ‘High School Musical,’ but uses much the same formula to separate youngsters from their allowance…
—Peter Debruge, Variety
…up-to-the-minute urban street dancing performed by sexy young stars displaying toned physiques and killer abs. As strictly formulaic as its predecessor…
—Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter
…If you’re the parent of a 14-year-old, you could send them to worse films. The film contains positive messages, including showing respect for yourself and others, the importance of team work and the need for family. …
—Phil Boatwright, Preview Family Movie and TV Review