Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan’s prequel to this one was tolerable despite lacking dance sequences, which were highly expected from a DANCE movie. This next one, with a cameo appearance by Channing Tatum, provides that requirement.
The roles are reversed this time. In the first movie, the Maryland School for the Arts outcast was streetdancer Tyler Gage and the hoity-toity prima dancer was Nora Clark who falls in love with Tyler. In the sequel, Tyler convinces childhood friend Andie West (Brianna Evigan) to audition at MSA so that she wouldn’t get sent away to Texas and leave her friends behind. Chase Collins (Robert Hoffman) is this movie’s version of the hoity-toity prima dancer. Well, not really. I just liked saying “hoity-toity.” 😀
Andie reluctantly agrees as it was the only solution to her dilemma. By attending MSA, she could still attend practices with her crew in preparation for The Streets, the biggest underground dance competition. However, scheduling problems arise when she is required to stay after school to learn dance basics from the school’s hoity-toity director, Blake Collins, older brother to Andie’s love interest. She gets the boot from the crew’s leader and ends up forming her own crew with the help of boyfriend Chase and good friend Moose, who’s really the movie’s secret weapon.
Step Up 2 leaves much to be desired in the acting department, but when it comes to dancing, those kids’ moves leave your mouths agape. Even Channing Tatum’s opening dance sequence blew us all away. However, Andie’s dance time was quite short. Sure, she had the spotlight in the end, but since she was the main character, it would have been better if we saw more of HER dance.
Another person I wish they could have showcased at least once was pop/RnB star Cassie, who played the hoity-toity (haha) rival of Andie for Chase’s affections (what’s a romance without a love triangle?). The most we see of her dancing is when she shared the dance floor with Andie during a family barbecue.
Moose, played delightfully well by Adam G. Sevani, was the biggest surprise in this movie. I suggest you watch out for him.
Don’t expect high quality acting. The cast members are primarily dancers, not actors, save maybe for Robert Hoffman who plays Chase Collins. If you want to know something interesting, Hoffman plays Justin Drake opposite Amanda Bynes and, get this, Channing Tatum in “She’s the Man.” On one hand it’s fun trivia, but if you want to interpret it further, it’s a bit degrading to realize he’s second fiddle to Channing Tatum.
In any case, watch the movie if only for the dance sequences. 😀