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Step Up 2 the Streets (2008)


Average Rating: 4.9/10
Reviews Counted: 62
Fresh: 17
Rotten: 45

Critics Consensus: There's a kinetic appeal to the handsome cast and their smooth moves, but everything else about Step Up 2 the Streets is been there, danced that.

Average Rating: 5.1/10
Reviews Counted: 20
Fresh: 6
Rotten: 14

Critics Consensus: There's a kinetic appeal to the handsome cast and their smooth moves, but everything else about Step Up 2 the Streets is been there, danced that.


Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 190,272


Movie Info

Director Jon M. Chu takes the helm for this Step Up sequel set at the Maryland School for the Arts and following the journey of a rebellious street dancer who struggles to fit in at the prestigious school. Andie (Briana Evigan) may show great promise as a dancer, but she just can't seem to let go of her old life and get a fresh start. With Baltimore's hottest underground dance contest looming on the horizon, Andie joins forces with top dancer Chase (Robert Hoffman) while simultaneously helping … More

PG-13 (for language, some suggestive material and brief violence)
Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
Karen Barna , Toni Ann Johnson
In Theaters:
Jul 15, 2008
Box Office:
Touchstone Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Step Up 2 the Streets

All Critics (65) | Top Critics (22) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (45) | DVD (5)

I can't quite recommend it, but... for a certain demographic why not.

February 19, 2008
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

Promises to hit all the urban-dance hallmarks with sledgehammer intensity.

Full Review… | February 15, 2008
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

Only any good when people are dancing.

Full Review… | February 14, 2008
Boston Globe
Top Critic

For all of its ragin' dance moves and rebellious talk, is high-spirited and harmless. An MC at one dance contest declares, "This ain't 'High School Musical'!" Oh, but it is.

Full Review… | February 14, 2008
New York Post
Top Critic

Stumbl[es] gracelessly from point A to point B and hitting all the expected notes in the process.

Full Review… | February 14, 2008
AV Club
Top Critic

Let's wait for a movie where they do get it all right: story, acting and dancing. It'll happen, just not this time.

Full Review… | February 14, 2008
Washington Post
Top Critic

Competent and too innocent in its own way to strongly dislike, but there also isn't much to push it above mediocrity. There's more substance in cotton candy.

Full Review… | July 24, 2012

Too bad much crap is needed to be waded through to get to the rather terrifically done finale.

Full Review… | July 23, 2012

To say this film (and any other dancing competition film) is formulaic is an understatement. However, formalism is entirely forgivable when you look at the marketplace.

Full Review… | August 18, 2008
7M Pictures

...a minor improvement over its almost unwatchable predecessor...

Full Review… | August 1, 2008
Reel Film Reviews

This isn't a very good movie, but it's probably the best of it's kind.

Full Review… | July 22, 2008
Sin Magazine

A dance romance with attitude that will fall short if you're expecting fulfillment in the story department.

Full Review… | July 9, 2008
Cinema Signals

Standard, well-made, urban dance movie.

Full Review… | March 28, 2008
Sydney Morning Herald

Will dance triumph over adversity? Will love between two attractive vacuous actors conquer all?

Full Review… | March 25, 2008

It's not a little obvious that the Step Up franchise means to keep a Disneyfied hand in the apparently inexorable dance movie cycle.

Full Review… | March 21, 2008

It suffers from a real lack of charisma, still the dance bits are good.

Full Review… | March 20, 2008
Empire Magazine

With a script cut-and-pasted from every other dance movie, this film is shockingly corny.

Full Review… | March 20, 2008
Shadows on the Wall

It suffers from a real lack of charisma, still the dance bits are good.

Full Review… | March 19, 2008
Empire Magazine Australasia

A robust addition to the street dance sub genre of movies, Step Up 2 The Streets offers plenty of exhilarating routines and a feasible storyline

Full Review… | March 16, 2008
Urban Cinefile

All of this feverish bending, twirling, twisting and snapping of the body is so infused with attitude, in fact, that it allows the film and its characters to live and breathe in ways that run counter to the movie's otherwise rhythmless script.

Full Review… | March 9, 2008
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

Inexplicably, I liked this film more than its predecessor. Wait - let me type that again, just to let the reality sink into my own mind: I actually liked Step Up 2.

Full Review… | February 25, 2008
Aisle Seat

This is an average story of a young woman making it on her own. No, I'm not talking about Mary Tyler Moore, I'm talking about Andi, played by Briana Evigan, in "Step Up 2 the Streets," a film that delivers just about what you'd expect.

Full Review… | February 24, 2008
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

...a Flashdance wannabe...

Full Review… | February 23, 2008
Sacramento News & Review

It's another of the many dance movies that fifteen years from now may just be admired in the same vein "Krush Groove" and "Breakin'" are...

Full Review… | February 22, 2008
Film Threat

Electrifying dance elevates an almost boring film.

Full Review… | February 21, 2008
Common Sense Media

It's very hard to argue that the dancing falls short, which means that the film at least justifies its own existence.

Full Review… | February 19, 2008
Antagony & Ecstasy

Audience Reviews for Step Up 2 the Streets


A common tactic when making sequels is to repeat the same story arc as the first film, but with a character who is in some way related to or connected with the original protagonists. Straight-to-video sequels are notorious for how tangential their relationship is to the originals: American Psycho 2, for instance, centres on a girl who stabs Patrick Bateman after he murders her babysitter.

Step Up 2: The Streets did not have to suffer the same, persisting ignominy of a straight-to-video release, but it does attempt the same kind of base trick. Its only connections to the first film are the Maryland School of the Arts and the brief, inconsequential appearance by Channing Tatum. While the results are not as disappointing as perhaps you might expect, it still fails to match the standard set by the first film.

Part of the reason for this disappointment is the director. This was Jon M. Chu's first commercial hit, which would lead him to direct the sequel to this and produce the following two instalments. His love of dancing is never in doubt, and nor is his ability to give his performers room within the camera to express themselves. What is in doubt is his ability to tie those dance moves to a story which is both interesting in its own right and told in an interesting way.

In Step Up, you had a series of dance set-pieces which were integrated reasonably well within the dramatic storyline. The end result was hardly The Red Shoes, but is was a film in which the dancing served the plot, rather than the other way around. Step Up 2 (as it shall henceforth be called) goes in the exact opposite direction, in which the dancing dominates to such a degree that the plot becomes episodic, almost to the point of being irrelevant.

As with the first film, there is a certain amount of pleasure to be gained from these set-pieces. They are impressively choreographed, and have a marginally more visceral quality than those in the first film. This is presumably because there is less of an effort to blend street dance with more classical or elitist forms of dance, something which sets the film apart from the original, albeit not enough to justify itself.

Many of the set-pieces are well-lit and reasonably well-directed. The final showdown at 'The Streets', with Andie's crew outclassing the 410 in the rain, is visually pleasing. The cuts are fast without suffering from the almost-ADHD attention span that plagues Rob Marshall's films (Nine in particular), and the sequence uses the bass drops in the music to effectively punctuate the various phases of the dance. Max Malkin's credits as a cinematographer are very thin, but he does a competent job of lighting movement around lots of water, which is not an easy thing to do.

But despite the impressive choreography, the dance sequences are not enough on their own to hold our attention or to make the film worthwhile as a narrative entity. We're living in an age where five-minute videos of people body-popping are ten-a-penny on YouTube, and with films taking so long to make compared to TV and internet shows, any film which includes such sequences has to offer something else to justify itself. As much as we are impressed by the talent of the individual performers, the result is ultimately too thin and too flimsy to be involving.

An equally big problem is our leading lady. Briana Evigan's credentials as a dancer are excellent, but as an actress she fails to make Andie West a likeable character. Having a lead with attitude can be effective, provided that it can be balanced out by some kind of character development or at least an underlying sensitivity. Evigan doesn't bring that balance, being so consistently aggressive that we end up finding her insufferable. Her subsequent career at the bad end of the horror genre (Sorority Row, Mother's Day and S. Darko) suggests that she has limited emotional range.

Because of this acting deficiency, Step Up 2 falters where Step Up ultimately found its feet. It's trying very hard to make a point about needing to belong in a group or community, and its democratic approach to dancing will garner praise. But while Channing Tatum's character in the first film ultimately found his niche, balancing his personality to skills which he never knew he had, the protagonists in this film are on one level just as exclusive and in-your-face as the 410.

It also doesn't help that the school scenes are less convincingly staged than in the first film. While the story of Step Up was ultimately a melodrama, the school in which the events took place felt like it could exist; at the very least, it was believable enough to serve the plot. This time, the school scenes have an awkward sense of detachment, as though Chu didn't really understand what the cast were talking about. The camera is less fluid in these moments, and the editing is looser and more arbitrary.

Even if we overlook the artificial nature of the high school scenes, the film still doesn't entirely satisfy as a straightforward genre piece. All the basic well-worn plot machinations are in place, with our lead starting to belong to a new group, things getting worse before they get better, and eventually triumphing against the odds. But even on a purely escapist level, it's utterly forgettable, and for those who want to engage with the story it doesn't depart in any reasonably gripping way.

What we are left with after all this is a collection of passingly impressive moments, assembled in a competent but unremarkable manner, and delivered by a group of decent actors who are weighed down by a miscast female lead. It's hard to believe on this basis that Chu was offered the chance to direct The Great Gatsby before Baz Luhrmann finally got the gig. But if we take Evigan's performance out of the equation, the remaining cast do just enough to keep things watchable.

This film marks the first appearance in the series of Adam Sevani, who becomes the saving grace of the next instalment. There's something wonderfully nerdy about Moose, who can back up his awkward demeanour with outstanding dancing, and he has a playful quality which makes him likeable. Elsewhere Robert Hoffman acquits himself perfectly well as Chase Collins, and Will Kemp partially atones for his work on Van Helsing in his supporting role as the head of the school.

Step Up 2: The Streets is a comedown from its predecessor, lacking the coherency and ultimately the confidence to tell a story, settling into a series of set-pieces instead. Its cast are reasonably assured with the exception of our leading lady, but Chu lacks the technical or creative skill to turn these performances into anything more than a pleasant diversion. It's not awful by any means, but it is disappointingly ordinary.

Daniel Mumby
Daniel Mumby

Super Reviewer


With more memorable characters, dancing I actually care about, and an overall better plot that the first film, "Step Up 2: The Streets" is nothing groundbreaking, but you can have a lot of fun with it. These first two films in the series are hated by critics, and I can see why, but I find these films to be huge guilty pleasures. It is almost as if these characters pass over the torch at the beginning of each film. Channing Tatum knows the main character and motivates her to make the decisions she makes throughout this film, and a side character who you come to love will be followed in the next film as he passes on the torch. I admire these aspects and it makes the films feel fresher than they should be. If you are going into any of these films hoping for an incredible story then you are looking in the wrong place. No, not even I would call this a good film, but I enjoy the hell out of it. "Step Up 2: The Streets" has awesome dancing, which is what the first film lacked, but not much different of a story, so it is barely a step up, no pun intended. If you can forgive cliches, you may just have a blast.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer


More like a step down from the first. Not to say this was a bad film, but it just lacked the substance and character of the first.

Eric Alvarez
Eric Alvarez

Super Reviewer

I love all of the Step Ups although this is my least favourite out of all of them. Still a very good film though! I like Robert Hoffman.

Bethany Murphy

Super Reviewer

Step Up 2 the Streets Quotes

My mom would tell me don't give up, just be you, because life's too short to be anybody else.
– Submitted by Nusfish K (2 years ago)
Yeah, we're her crew! We're getting ready to battle at the streets.
What street? Sesame Street?
– Submitted by Kerwin M (2 years ago)
[after tasting tofu dog, sings:] Tastes like candy canes - at Christmas.
– Submitted by Kerwin M (2 years ago)
The streets are supposed to be about different people coming together... We call this a battle but what are we fighting for? We're all here because we have this thing we do, we dance... Being part of the street used to mean much more than just turf or power... It's about bringing something new to the floor... and it shouldn't matter what we wear, what school or what neighborhood were from because the best part of the streets is not about what you got, it's what you make of what you've got! So if the 410's too scared to defend their title against us, hell, well be doing our thing outside where the streets started!
– Submitted by Kerwin M (2 years ago)
Yo, why my crib smell like Funyuns, broccoli and ball sweat?
– Submitted by Kerwin M (2 years ago)
Chase Collins:
They just hatin' on you cause you dope.
– Submitted by Kerwin M (2 years ago)

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