×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

StreetDance 2

"StreetDance 3D" proved a surprise smash at U.K. cinemas and did healthy biz abroad, beating "Step Up 3" to the punch as the first stereoscopic dance movie. Now "StreetDance 2" aims to repeat the trick, throwing bolder moves in the direction of the international market.

With:
With: Falk Hentschel, Sofia Boutella, George Sampson, Tom Conti, Stephanie Nguyen, Delphine Nguyen, Niek Traa, Elisabetta Di Carlo, Samuel Revell, Kaito Masai, Ali Ramdani, Ndedi Ma-Sellu, Brice Larrieu, Akai Osei-Mansfield, Maykel Fonts, Anwar Burton.

StreetDance 3D” proved a surprise smash at U.K. cinemas and did healthy biz abroad, beating “Step Up 3” to the punch as the first stereoscopic dance movie. Now “StreetDance 2” aims to repeat the trick, throwing bolder moves in the direction of the international market. Not only has the action shifted from London to Paris, and the urban beats given a fresh Latin flavor, but the cast features real-life street-dance stars from across Europe. The magic formula of dance plus 3D may prove less potent in Blighty the second time around, but pic should elicit high scores on foreign shores.

A major cast update brings in a new male protag, Ash (Falk Hentschel), who is humiliated by Invincible, a world-champion dance crew led by the arrogant Vince (Anwar Burton). Determined to prove his worth, Ash teams up with manager Eddie (principal “StreetDance” holdover George Sampson) to assemble an eclectic roster of talent from Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Ibiza, Rome, Lyon and an unspecified location in the Swiss Alps. Together, they hole up in an appropriately funky Paris dorm for six weeks of rehearsals ahead of a big competition known as the Final Clash.

Inciting incident occurs when Ash and Eddie visit underground salsa club Manu’s, named for its owner (Tom Conti, doing his best to communicate seen-it-all-before, crinkle-eyed charm). Inside the venue’s implausibly located boxing ring, the two find the new rhythms that will set their crew apart. More specifically, Ash locates the sizzlingly sexy Eva (Sofia Boutella), Manu’s niece, who will teach him the new steps and more.

Returning directorial duo Max Giwa and Dania Pasquini never saw an iconic European building that couldn’t be co-opted into brightening up a shot, sometimes with scant regard for geographical consistency. Boutella and the buff, agreeably bland Hentschel are likewise plenty easy on the eye, and their bodies are shown to particular fine effect when they dance, separately, after a big fight. Pic’s youthful target audience may indulge this street-Latin fusion as groundbreaking, but they may be less accepting of screenwriter Jane English’s final-act jeopardy, which feels contrived even by the lax standards of the genre.

The major casualty of the brisk running time is individual characterization of the supporting players. Having each been introduced performing in their home cities, Skorpion (Brice Larrieu), Killa (Ndedi Ma-Sellu), Legend (Niek Traa), Terabyte (Kaito Masai) and friends are given nothing interesting to do except complain about their Paris accommodations, make skeptical noises about the crew’s new Latin direction, and finally rally to help heal the inevitable rift between Ash and Eva. Oh, and they have a pillow fight. Conti’s Manu is arguably the most defined character, and his avuncular concern for Eva offers up some mild conflict with Ash, including a chili-eating duel with an amusing spaghetti Western-style score.

The soundtrack, predictably, is a big plus, with music supervisor Lol Hammond sneakily pandering to any tween-accompanying dads, with dance cuts that reference the Stone Roses’ “Fool’s Gold” and Primal Scream’s “Come Together.” In a blatant repeat of a winning formula, the big romantic moment plays out to the plaintive rock strains of Morning Runner’s “Burning Benches,” echoing the similarly evocative “Life Is Beautiful” by Vega 4 at the exact same moment in the original “StreetDance.”

Acrobatic dance performances maintain the pic’s pace through choreography rather than cutting, effectively showcasing the assembled talents. Perhaps more surprising is the restraint in the use of 3D; apart from the explosions of popcorn and fireworks that bookend the film, depth of field is largely achieved through production design, with repeated use of vertical elements — girders, poles, lampposts and the legs of upturned chairs stacked on tables in Manu’s club — to delineate the space. Numbers performed on checkered, tiled floors, or on stages marked into a rectangular grid, augment the effect.

StreetDance 2

U.K.

Production: A Vertigo Films release of a Vertigo Films, BBC Films and BFI presentation, in association with Square One Entertainment, supported by Deutsche FilmfoerderFonds, of a Vertigo Films production, in co-production with Film 1 and Eagle Pictures. (International sales: Protagonist, London.) Produced by Allan Niblo, James Richardson. Executive producers, Rupert Preston, Nick Love, Nigel Williams, Christine Langan, Al Munteanu. Co-producers, Henning Ferber, Marcus Welke, Mark Lombardo. Directed by Max Giwa, Dania Pasquini. Screenplay, Jane English.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Sam McCurdy; editor, Tim Murrell; music, Lloyd Perrin, Jordan Crisp; music supervisor, Lol Hammond; production designer, Richard Bullock; art director, Alex Marden; costume designer, Andrew Cox; sound (Dolby Digital), Simon Willis; supervising sound editor, Adrian Baumeister; re-recording mixer, Matthias Schwab; choreographers, Rich Talauega, Anthony Talauega, Maykel Fonts, Sharna Burgess; visual effects supervisor, Marc Knapton; line producer, Charles Salmon; associate producers, Rich Talauega, Anthony Talauega; assistant director, Jamie MacDermott; casting, Gaby Kester, Gary Davy, Mark Pembroke, Chad Ritterbach. Reviewed at Soho Screening Rooms, London, March 20, 2012. Running time: 85 MIN.

With: With: Falk Hentschel, Sofia Boutella, George Sampson, Tom Conti, Stephanie Nguyen, Delphine Nguyen, Niek Traa, Elisabetta Di Carlo, Samuel Revell, Kaito Masai, Ali Ramdani, Ndedi Ma-Sellu, Brice Larrieu, Akai Osei-Mansfield, Maykel Fonts, Anwar Burton.

More Film

  • Rosie Day, Harriet Sanson Harris, Natalia

    Rosie Day, Harriet Sanson Harris, Natalia Tena Set For Juanma Bajo Ulloa’s Thriller ‘Baby’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    CANNES– Rosie Day (“Outlander”), Harriet Sanson Harris (“Phantom Thread”) and Natalia Tena (“Game of Thrones”) will star in Spaniard Juanma Bajo Ulloa’s psychological thriller “Baby,” Variety has learned exclusively. The project will be pitched on May 19 at Fantastic 7, a new Cannes initiative seeing seven of the world’s most prestigious fantastic festivals back and [...]

  • Polish Fest’s Industry Event Presents Upcoming

    New Horizons’ Polish Days Goes to Cannes With Five Films in Progress

    CANNES  —  Buoyed by a wave of international successes, including Pawel Pawlikowski’s 2019 foreign-language Oscar nominee “Cold War,” Polish cinema will get a fitting showcase Sunday morning with the presentation of five new projects at New Horizons’ Polish Days Goes to Cannes. Organized in conjunction with the Polish Film Institute, Polish Days is the most important [...]

  • Cannes, Annecy Animation Day Hosts ‘Bob

    Coala to Pitch ‘Bob Spit: We Do Not Like People’ at Cannes, Annecy Animation Day

    São Paulo-based Coala Filmes impressed in the series competition at last year’s Annecy Intl. Film Festival with an episode of their popular stop-motion series “Angeli the Killer,” based on the famous comics of the Brazilian comic-book writer of the same name. This year, the film’s director Cesar Cabral and producer Ivan Melo are participating in [...]

  • Russian Oligarch Roman Abramovich’s $100 Million

    Russian Oligarch Roman Abramovich’s $100 Million Film Fund Launches

    CANNES  —  Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich’s $100 million private film fund Kinoprime is ready for business, the fund’s CEO, Anton Malyshev, said in Cannes this week. Financed to the tune of $100 million over the next three years, the fund can provide up to 50% of a film’s production budget, with a $2 million cap [...]

  • Russian Helmer of Blockbuster ‘Stalingrad’ Looks

    Russia’s Fedor Bondarchuk Unveils Four New Films in Cannes

    CANNES  —  Russian director Fedor Bondarchuk introduced four new productions from his Art Pictures Studio Saturday in Cannes, including “Attraction 2,” the sequel to his 2017 sci-fi blockbuster. The invitation-only showcase at the Gray d’Albion hotel also unveiled footage from three new features that Bondarchuk is either directing or producing. Sci-fi thriller “Sputnik” is the story [...]

  • "The Whistlers" Review: The Romanian New

    Cannes Film Review: 'The Whistlers'

    With all due respect to Lauren Bacall, there’s always been a bit more to whistling than putting your lips together and blowing. Certainly for Cristi (Vlad Ivanov), the corrupt Bucharest policeman embroiled in a comically complex plot to get a local gangster off the hook in Corneliu Porumboiu’s Cannes competition title “The Whistlers,” it is [...]

  • 'Vivarium' Review: Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen

    Cannes Film Review: 'Vivarium'

    Ah, the suburbs. The rec rooms and Formica kitchens and manicured lawns. The cozy suffocating middle-class conformity. The way they once stood for everything that was worth rebelling against. For decades, the suburbs have been the ultimate cheap-shot movie punchline — not just a location but a state of mind, a place to thumb our [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content