Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Republished with permission from Creative Screenwriting:

You Sorta Got Served

Step Up 2: The Streets

Toni Ann Johnson and Karen Barna
Based on characters created by Duane Adler

In the hip-hop dance world of Step Up 2: The Streets, the young adults look wangsta-menacing but none of them would dream of packing heat; all scores are settled on the dance floor, and the cruelest taunt heard is, "You guys are garbage." Early on, the results of a dance-off determine that troublemaking, goodhearted tomboy Andie (Briana Evigan), a midriff-baring but otherwise squeaky clean street-style dancer, must promise to study hard and apply herself so she can get into the distinguished Maryland School of the Arts. The members of 410, Andie's dance crew (known for masked, public disturbance-style guerilla dance fare on subway trains), grow disgruntled and dump Andie because she no longer has time to practice. In response, Andie forms a new crew with Chase Collins (Robert Hoffman), a hooded, well-to-do hottie at the art school who's being pressured to live up to his family's legacy but secretly longs to show off his krumping. The dialogue comes in three flavors: on-the-nose exposition, paper-thin characterization, or pseudo-inspirational stock phrases including "Be yourself"; "Don't give up"; "It ain't what you got, it's what you do with what you got"; and "This crew is supposed to be family." Despite the clunky speeches, the writers deserve credit for packing in as many dance scenes as possible in surprisingly organic fashion, and the choreography rates an A. The DVD extras include pointless music videos from the soundtrack's artists and deleted scenes that belong where they are; however, the "making of" documentary with first-time director Jon Chu and the behind-the-scenes dance segment are endearing and informative.
- Sarah Skilton

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