StreetDance proved to be a surprise homegrown hit in 2010, outmuscling the Jerry Bruckheimer blockbuster Prince of Persia at the box office on its way to pocketing a cool £10 million in ticket sales. The film's popularity, along with the rise of US dance saga Step Up and the likes of Britain's Got Talent and Strictly Come Dancing, meant that a sequel was almost a certainty.
BGT's George Sampson is the only cast holdover, as directors Max & Dania and screenwriter Jane English take the dancefloor action across Europe for a story that replicates the against-all-odds trajectory of its predecessor.
The plot finds dancer Ash (Falk Hentschel) facing an embarrassment at the hands of the Invincible crew before setting out to assemble a troupe of his own to get their own back in a Paris tournament. Where ballet provided the culture clash in the first movie, StreetDance melds the high-octane urban dance style with a more sensual Spanish salsa.
As with the original StreetDance, there's fizzing dance numbers interwoven with a join-the-dots story that packs little in the way of shock or surprise. And the acting, oh the acting. Hentschel, who looks like the love child of Chris Martin and Will Young, knows how to bust a move but is as stiff as a plank when it comes to delivering dialogue (a lot of which appears to be dubbed) or emotion. You can almost smell the fromage during the excruciating romantic scenes with Boutella.
3D is an essential bolt-on for movies of this ilk, yet here it's deployed in a manner that's barely noticeable save for popcorn throwing - out of the screen, not at it (the film isn't that awful) - and an impromptu pillow fight.
There are enjoyable moments, notably a chilly face-off between Ash and Manu (along with the latter's unplaceable accent), but ultimately this is light-weight fluff that pays little attention to developing its characters or creating a story that's as fresh or invigorating as its dance sequences.
There's evidently a big audience for a movie like this, so it's a shame that the filmmakers aren't ambitious enough to step outside of the dance genre's well-worn cliches. The only thing striking about StreetDance 2 is its mediocrity.