Whilst watching the latest dance shit fest I was struck by how non-linear the narrative was. Amazingly time jumped back and forth at a level usually associated with art house cinema thus rendering me unable to keep up with a plot that was more akin to Lost Highway than High School Musical. As I sat panicked by the fact that Step Up 2 was fastly becoming one of the most subversive films of the year it dawned on me. I'd put the the sodding reels in the wrong order.
When assembled correctly this film is an identikit transfer of every teen/dance/ballsathon out there. Girl from street gang (Briana Evigan) has to join an elite arts school or she'll be sent away to somewhere (I wasn't really paying much attention). At the school she starts to hang around with the losers that inhabit it and, for doing so, gets kicked out of her crew. She then enlists the services of these losers to engage in a 'stepbattle' with her old crew. Balls, balls, balls.
All the 'actors' have clearly been chosen for their dance abilities which leaves any dramatic scenes devoid of any credibility. Saying that, I can't think of a single thespian who could deliver lines such as "I can't believe what they did to you last night!" in response to a rival gang being shown up on the dance floor. Its not like they raped their grans in front of you. After a massive speech made by the lead girl to win all these naughty gang members round you might actually be wanting some non-consenual octagenarian sex to liven things up.
I knew full well going in this isn't exactly the film for me and the 'reels out of order' confusion did manage to keep me entertained for a bit but the level of illegality given to the subject of people having a dance is ludicrous. I once read a review (I believe by mega-critic Paul Ross) that described something as being "grittier than Friends". The question that buzzed through my head for days after was "What could possibly be less gritty than Friends?" Ladies and Gentlemen, after years of searching, we've finally found it.