I’m not sure if you’re much of a breakdancing fan, or much of a fan of dance movies in general…but I think if you’re reading this review there’s a good chance you must be. (Either that, or you’re looking for REALLY weird porn. O_O )
I’m also guessing you’ve seen the original Breakin’ movie from 1984. (If not, please go watch it IMMEDIATELY. It’s great.)
If you haven’t seen the original, it wasn’t a masterpiece but along with a movie called Beat Street, it set a precedent for future breakdancing/dance movies and also had a profound impact on the breakdancing community. The story was halfway-decent…a sort of Romeo and Juliet tale between a rich, white girl who does ballet/professional dance and a poor, hispanic breakdancer from the streets, and their struggle to be accepted in each other’s circles of friends and family and careers. It was executed pretty well, and had amazing dance sequences and some funny scenes. Aside from a couple of random weird scenes (There is a scene where for SOME reason they’re all eating at some crazy redneck country bar/restaurant and there is a huge fight) it was pretty damned good.
Fast forward to Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo.
It should be even BETTER, right? RIGHT?
Unfortunately, it’s not.
We have some problems right off the bat. First of all, this movie is no longer set in reality. (Not that the world of breakdance is set firmly in reality, but you’ll see what I mean if you watch it, especially as compared with the first one). What I mean by this is that, in the film’s opening sequence, the entire town starts breakdancing. I’m not exaggerating. The ENTIRE town. Cops, gardeners, telephone line workers, bakers, old ladies and my personal favorite; the mailman. Yes, they were all dropping mad moves, and poppin’ and lockin’ like nobody’s business. The first movie was at least partly grounded in reality. People worked normal jobs, and acted as such. It wasn’t a musical, per se, and the film worked because of that.
Second, we have the introduction of Kelly’s WASP parents. They are the whitest people I have ever seen on the screen (I’ll get back to the white thing later…) aside from an even WHITER guy who shows up later that Kelly’s dad wants her to marry. WTF…in a movie of stereotypes, they were the most stereotypical characters I’ve ever had the displeasure to watch. When describing Kelly’s friends, the breakdancers, Kelly’s fiance-in-the-making refers to them as “rif-raf”. Wow. I don’t think people have spoken that way since medieval times. Also, WHAT is with the “classical” music playing every time they show rich people? I doubt that’s what they listened to, even back then. I bet they were listening to Prince or Bruce Springsteen.
Next, we have the recycled opposing dance team from the first film (think the Sharks and Jets from Westside Story…in Breakin’ it’s Electro Rock – The Bad Guys and TKO – The Good Guys) who are SOMEHOW even more lame in the second movie. There is a really awkward dance/fight with Electro Rock and TKO where they use NUNCHAKUS and TRASH CAN LIDS as pseudo-weapons in which they never actually hit with, and then there is some weird kung-fu-looking moves. In the first film it seemed a lot more organic. I dunno WHAT the hell was happening with the dance choreography in the second film.
THEN, we have Kelly’s character. It’s like she’s forgotten everything that happened in the first film. She’s back to being stuck-up white girl.
THEN, we also have a really gorgeous girl they introduced as Turbo’s potential love interest…but they introduce her and she plays a bit part, and they sort of end up together for the hell of it. Because they’re both good dancers? We dunno…it was never really explained.
Now, onto the whole white thing. Almost all white folks were bad ,and they lived in white houses, had white furniture, wore white clothes, had white hair. The developers all had white hardhats. There were even white balloons (which went higher into the air than the colored balloons). We get it. White is evil and oppressive.
Even the music in this movie didn’t pack the same punch. There was a lot of Ollie and Jerrie, but there wasn’t enough variety. In the first one, they played so many songs by different artists. The second was almost exclusively Ollie and Jerrie.
Now, don’t get me wrong…there were some good things about Breakin’ 2. The opening scene with the whole town dancing was great, even though it was sorta cheesy. However, it showcased lots of really nice dance moves and it DID set the tone for the remainder of the film early on. Ice-T was another welcome sight. He was great in the second movie, just as he was in the first. The girl they got to play Turbo’s love interest was really cute. It was fun, and lighthearted and not too heavy, and the scene where Turbo dances along the walls and ceiling is usually the only scene I really remember because it’s pretty awesome, lets face it.
So, if you’ve seen Breakin’ but not Breakin’ 2, you might as well give it a shot. It will complete your experience and after watching the second one, you will say “Yeah…that was enough for me“. Hell, maybe you’ll even like it better. If you haven’t seen either of them, PLEASE see the first one.
Just watch out in Breakin’ 2 for the really creepy and weird scene involving a life-size doll. That part gives me the willies.