NPR logo 'Step Up 2: The Streets'

Arts & Life

'Step Up 2: The Streets'

Briana Evigan (right), Telisha Shaw (center) and Danielle Polanco play predictable street dancers in Step Up 2: The Streets. Karen Ballard/Touchstone Pictures and Summit Entertainment, LLC hide caption

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Karen Ballard/Touchstone Pictures and Summit Entertainment, LLC

Briana Evigan (right), Telisha Shaw (center) and Danielle Polanco play predictable street dancers in Step Up 2: The Streets.

Karen Ballard/Touchstone Pictures and Summit Entertainment, LLC
  • Director: Jon Chu
  • Genre: Musical Drama
  • Running Time: 98 minutes

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The dance moves are terrific, the plot and characters merely generic in Step Up 2, the latest in a string (Stomp the Yard, Step Up) of breakdance-inspired dance-musicals.

An attractive Baltimore street dancer (Briana Evigan) will be sent to live with Texas relatives unless she cleans up her act and enrolls in the Maryland School for the Arts. Naturally, she soon has the school's sheltered ballerinas dancing in street competitions.

Because the movie more or less begins with the competitions — and simply going back to them would qualify as a less-than-thrilling finale — the director opts for what I'm going to to call the "just add water" ploy, staging the competition outdoors in a thunderstorm. Splashy, yes, but where's Gene Kelly when you need him?