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STEP UP 2 THE STREETS

SYNOPSIS:
Rebellious newcomer Andie (Briana Evigan) is an outsider trying to fit in at the elite Maryland School of Arts while still holding onto her old dream of dancing with the infamous underground Baltimore street crew, 401. The hottest talent at MSA, Chase (Robert Hoffman), is looking to break out of his mold. With Andie trying to straddle the two competing dance cultures, Chase joins forces with Andie to form their own crew to compete in Baltimore's biggest, rawest street dancing battle, The Streets, inviting a new batch of problems.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
A robust addition to the street dance sub genre of movies, Step Up 2 The Streets offers plenty of exhilarating routines and a feasible storyline. Andie (Briana Evigan), who has lost her mother (no mention of a dad) is in conflict with her mother's best friend who has promised to look after her. But Andie is not your quiet mouse type of girl, and her street dancing antics are causing a commotion. The crew she is with is talented but on the edge ... Andie must knuckle down. Then she gets into the big daddy of arts schools, a more respectable environment. Her two worlds collide.

But the details only matter inasmuch as they provide the springboard for the vast numbers of dance sequences. Street is a subgenre of free form dancing, a kind of gymnastic dance developed and perfected on the streets, obviously by youngsters whose natural milieu is the pavement not the cosy home. The dancing channels energy, whether positive or negative, and encourages creative expression, even for interpersonal conflicts. Better than shooting each other.

Briana Evigan and her co-lead Robert Hoffman are entertaining to watch, but a couple of the supports are even more so. Especially notable is Adam G. Sevani as loveable Moose, the unlikely, nerdy looking kid with a great line of comic inventiveness and terrific dance moves. Also outstanding for unique characterisation is Danielle Polanco as Missy, a fiery and endearing young woman with a great smile.

Jon Chu directs with all guns blazing, and the film's climactic dance routine is performed in a downpour - which is a risky idea, but Chu makes it work. Although it's not my kind of movie, it has all the elements to appeal to its target audience, who will especially enjoy the opening sequence, when the infamous 401 crew go hell for leather on a subway in a daring thumbing of nose to the square establishment.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

STEP UP 2 THE STREETS (PG)
(US, 2008)

CAST: Briana Evigan, Robert Hoffman, Adam G. Sevani, Cassie, Danielle Polanco, Christopher Scott, Mari Koda, Janelle Cambridge

PRODUCER: Erik Feig, Jennifer Gibgot, Adam Shankman, Patrick Wachsberger

DIRECTOR: Jon Chu

SCRIPT: Toni Ann Johnson, Karen Barna

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Max Malkin

EDITOR: Andrew Marcus

MUSIC: Aaron Zigman

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Devorah Herbert

RUNNING TIME: 98 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Universal

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 20, 2008







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