Dances with lulls
JESSICA ALBA doesn’t stop by the hood much any more. And even if she did she’d probably manage more gainful employment than Honey 2. This belated, halfhearted sequel never properly explains where the title star of the 2003 hip-hopper has gone. She lingers on as a character name, a photo by the TV and by association. But that’s just the way this lowrent dance flick rolls.
Stepping into an Alba-sized chasm, Vampire Diaries starlet and sometime Black Eyed Pea Katerina Graham struts her stuff as a Bronx boo just trying to make her way. Released
from juvie with a new taste for stepping out, Not Honey must avoid falling back in with her old crew, her no-good ex-boyfriend and her old life.
If only there was some way to neatly overcome all these obstacles. If only there was a dance contest that would allow her to get back at her crooked cohort of old, take home $100,000 and start over as a frou-frou-la-la European choreographer. Hang on . . . what did that commercial just say?
Before you can bust a move and declare “it’s on”, Graham has honoured the weediest of all hip-hop franchises by assembling a misfit collective largely populated by the blandest people on Earth. Before you can add “You’ve been served, aiight?” the heroine is touring New York arm in arm with a white-bread love interest and taking notes on mime, ballet and tango. Will it be enough to take down the monolithic 718 crew on a fake version of Mario Lopez’s America’s Best Dance Crew?
The entire cast is soon serving or getting served as this formulaic Step Up clone struggles toward its inevitable denouement. The familiarity of the material is forgivable; the dull presentation is not. Rosero McCoy’s choreography is plenty energetic but is consistently undermined by fast cuts and the cosiness of the hip-hop fairy tale.
Lacking either the jouissance and spectacle of Step Up 3D or the daring bump and grind of How She Move, Honey 2 and its supposed urban smarts wouldn’t cut it on Sesame Street. It’s on, all right, but nobody’s home.