Providing you're not hip-hop- or cliche-averse, see "Step Up 2 the Streets" with the right expectations and you'll be pleasantly surprised. It's just as cornball as "Step Up" (2006), but it's more fun - more of a full-on dance musical, its plot a mere slip of a thing designed to whisk you to the next excuse for another choreographic and ab-centric display.
The film glides from the Baltimore subway to the classrooms of the Maryland School of the Arts (think "Fame," if you must) to a back-yard salsa dance turn under colored lights to the climactic, rain-soaked street dance competition, all hot lights and triumph. The film occasionally talks tough - "This ain't High School Musical!." disses the roving deejay when our heroine and her misfit cohorts come up short in their first street effort. But really, it pretty much is "High School Musical," with a rough edge or two.
In place of "Step Up's" sullen white boy learning to adapt his moves while wowing the conservatory crowd, "Step Up 2 the Streets" features strapping Briana Evigan as a sullen white girl who learns to adapt her moves while wowing the conservatory crowd. If Andie can make it at the arts school, while partnering with the arts school's golden boy Chase (Robert Hoffman), she can make it anywhere. Andie's street crew, meanwhile, doesn't like this new, snooty version of the girl they knew. The multiethnic "410" gang, known for its prankish hit-and-run choreographic dazzle on subways and the like, needs all the bodies it can get to compete in "The Streets," a battle of the hip-hop all-stars.
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