First up "Step Up 2: The Streets" is not really a sequel to "Step Up" as the only continuity is that we are back at the Maryland School of Arts and there is a small but energetic cameo from Channing Tatum. That isn't a criticism and in many ways is a plus point because it means we get a whole host of new characters to follow and they have a different story to work through. But whilst there is a different story which sees the school's misfits band together to become a street crew you don't watch "Step Up 2: The Streets" to be entertained by the drama or the expected slice of romance, you watch it for the dance, the music and good looking young stars gyrating which it scores highly in each of those departments especially with the highly watchable Briana Evigan who is not only hot but a talented dancer.
Following the death of her parents Andie West (Briana Evigan - Sorority Row) has gone off the tracks and is part of the notorious 410 crew who cause havoc with their dancing stunts much to her guardian's frustration who is getting ready to send her to live in Texas with an aunt. Fortunately Tyler Gage (Channing Tatum) persuades her guardian to give her a final chance if Andie goes to the Maryland School of Arts and buckles down. Whilst Andie tries her best to fit in amongst the ballet dancers she struggles and also finds herself kicked out of the 410 crew because she keeps missing rehearsals. But at school she meets Chase (Robert Hoffman - Shrooms) who unlike his ballet dancing brother prefers street dance and together with the rest of the school misfits form their own crew to take it to the streets and challenge the 410.
I will say that I was pleasantly surprised by "Step Up 2: The Streets" for the simple reason it didn't just rehash the first movie and managed to come up with a new storyline. Having said that the storyline they came up with is incredibly slim and boils down to a group of misfits both when it comes to school and on the street proving that they deserve to dance and that street dance isn't a joke to the snobby ballet love tutors. It is in truth the perfect sort of storyline for this sort of movie because it isn't complex, has the expected slice of romance in their between Andie and Chase and serves up plenty of opportunity for what everyone wants which is a lot of music and a lot of dance, this time being pure street dance with no fusion of ballet.
So on the subject of the music and dance well in truth I am too old for this sort of movie, it is targeting a much younger audience than me and so whilst the music did absolutely nothing for me I can appreciate the driving beat is perfect for its intentions. And as to the dance, well even if you are not into street dance it is hard not to be impressed by the slick choreographed routines from the entertaining opening dance scene on the train to the big finale where the MSA crew bust a move on a rain drenched street. That doesn't mean it isn't at times a bit cheesy and the whole finale with it being in the rain and the preceding speech by Andie where she fights her corner is a bit over kill but even then watching this group of people dance in unison and do things which make me ache just watching still impresses.
And on the subject of impressing there is Briana Evigan who firstly looks stunning and is a good reason to watch the movie alone. But in fairness to Evigan she is more than hot, she can act as well and she brings a nice sensitivity to the character of Andie which when combined with the dancing, especially when soaked in the rain makes her even more appealing. As for the rest of the cast, well to be honest everyone has thin characters to play but then the likes of Adam G. Sevani does make his character Moose entertaining and Robert Hoffman does what his character requires as Chase whilst also pulling off some impressive dance moves.
What this all boils down to is that "Step Up 2: The Streets" is surprisingly a solid follow up to "Step Up" and even for those not into dance movies is simple enough to be entertaining. It does owe a lot to Briana Evigan who makes it very watchable for those not bothered by the music and dance but it is as much for her acting as it is for being attractive.