Step Up 2 the Streets
The sequel to the 2006 dance and romance hit Step Up takes its cues from The Next Karate Kid, reversing the gender of the protagonist to get away with recycling the original storyline. So the original's Tyler (Channing Tatum), the Baltimore hoodlum with dance skills that landed him in a prestigious art school, is replaced here with a female equivalent, Andie (Briana Evigan). And once again, the street-dancing rebel finds love with a classmate from the right side of the tracks, Chase (Robert Hoffman), while trying to adapt to stuffy new surroundings. Like its predecessor, Step Up 2 the Streets' depiction of Baltimore teen dance culture has no basis in reality; it's more like West Side Story dance-fighting than kids doing the SpongeBob to club music. Nor does its sense of local geography; just try and find the setting of the final climactic scene, the corner of "8th and Main," on a map. But both the love story and the choreography show marked improvement over the first movie, thanks largely to Evigan's flirty bad-girl charisma and gravity-defying moves. And as always with such flicks, the fancy footwork is the main attraction, not the mechanically plotted dramatics that occasionally kill the momentum.