Another generation of youngsters has arrived since Jessica Alba danced her way from the street to stardom in 2003’s sweet hiphop Cinderella story Honey. Director Bille Woodruff clearly figured there was life in a franchise with the trans-Atlantic success of dance movies and tv dance competitions, but Honey 2 labours to distinguish itself.
Pretty Katerina Graham (from tv’s The Vampire Diaries) is Maria, a 17-year-old orphan who has just been released from Juvenile Detention into the kind foster care of Mrs. Daniels (Lonette McKee, only returning cast member from the original Honey), mum of now legendary dancer-choreographer Honey and director of the Honey Daniels Dance Center. Maria cleans the dance studio but when no one is around she practices her own moves, dreaming of following in Honey’s footsteps. A huge tv dance competition, Dance Battle Zone, offers her hope, since the winning choreographer gets an internship on top of the prize money and a national tour. Rich boy Brandon (bland Randy Wayne), a student who volunteers at the studio, invites her to join his crew, the HD. But her criminal ex-boyfriend, Luis (Christopher “War” Martinez), who left her to take the fall for his robbery, is the commanding leader of formidable rival dancers the 718s. Luis wants Maria back and failing that he uses his wiles on troubled HDer Tina (Seychelle Gabriel) to sow dissension.
Oh-so-predictable plotting is enlivened by many of America’s most successful hiphop crews. But it’s not that engaging.
Is Honey 2 suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Note that the rivalry and hateful rows between dance crews is very aggressive and full of nasty “trash talking”, while some of the choreography is lap dancer raunchy. Too ripe and rude for younger viewers.