Take a boy-girl pair of cute dancers from wildly different disciplines, hook them up for an imminent, all-important competition and watch their romantic chemistry ignite.
Yes, the formula is very much the same in Streetdance 2, the sequel to 2010’s brash and bouncy hit musical, but this time it’s salsa instead of ballet that is being partnered with edgy, street-smart hip-hop. There’s a new body-popping protagonist this time, too – American B-boy Ash, played by Falk Hentschel (no, I’d never heard of him either).
When we first meet him, he’s smarting from a humiliating encounter with reigning streetdance crew Invincible, but he quickly bounces back after hooking up with cheeky young manager Eddie (a holdover from the first film played by 2008 Britain’s Got Talent winner George Sampson) and together they set out to recruit a new multinational crew from across Europe.
A brisk travelogue montage later and they’ve assembled a team for the forthcoming world championship showdown in Paris. But the vital spark is still missing. Then Ash encounters smokin’ hot salsa dancer Eva (Nike ad star Sofia Boutella) in the club run by her uncle (a bizarrely cast Tom Conti). Could a fusion of Latin and streetdance help Ash and his friends defeat their rivals?
There are the usual slips and stumbles before the story can reach its foregone conclusion, but not so many as last time out – salsa is much more in step with hip-hop than ballet ever was. The lack of friction means that the story is even flimsier than before, but a happier consequence is that the dancing is even more electrifying. Vividly showcased in 3D by directors Max Giwa and Dania Pasquini, the vibrant choreography by Michael Jackson veterans Rich and Tone fuses hip-hop hustle and Latin sensuality and the climactic dance number is so cool it raises goosebumps.
On general release from Friday 30th March.
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