Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Breakin2Electric Boogaloo
Dir: Sam Firstenberg
Breakin' was a hit. An amazing hit, against all the odds, particularly when considering that a. It wasn't very good b. Beat Street, released four days later, was a thousand times better and c. It wasn't very good (worth mentioning twice). There wasn't much of a story really in the first film, Ballet and break dance merged to become 'Jazz dance', a show was put on and that was about it. In Breakin2Electric Boogaloo, life gets real, and the youth club that dancers Ozone (Adolfo "Shabba Doo" Quiñones) and Turbo (Michael "Boogaloo Shrimp" Chambers) now teach at is under threat from re-developers who want to rip down their multicoloured community centre (possibly an old church?) and build a huge shopping mall in its place (even though there clearly isn't enough room). Kelly (Lucinda Dickey) is torn between a successful career and dancing in her knickers at the community centre but is persuaded to choose the later because 'dance'. The gang soon find themselves having to raise a million dollars (or $150,000) to save the centre and when the developers agree to pull out of the project, they still need to raise the money because 'dance'. There is also a nice little scene at the end whereby their rival dance group decide to join with them for the sake of 'dance' and Kelly's parents, who it is revealed are very wealthy (Kelly's mode of transport goes from beaten up VW Beetle to flash sports car without any mention) decide to donate most of the money to save the centre (after initially not liking Ozone and Turbo due to them being 'Street', 'Poor' and probably into drugs because they're black) because they suddenly remember that the most important thing at the end of the day is 'dance'. The comedy dance-offs between the rival group are repeated, the scene whereby Ozone and Turbo have to mix with stereotypical posh white people is repeated, Ice-T showing people how not to rap is repeated and the 'not going to happen so why do they keep pretending' relationship between Kelly and Ozone is repeated. The big dance number at the end of the film is also repeated but there is more. In fact, Breakin2Electric Boogaloo is almost better than the first for one scene alone. It may not have a hilarious first performance from Jean-Claude Van Damme but it has an amazing sequence whereby dancer Michael "Boogaloo Shrimp" Chambers dances all around, on the side of and eventually on the ceiling of his brightly coloured bedroom. The spinning set/fixed camera work is exceptional and it's a genuinely impressive little dance scene and worth watching the film for alone. It's terrible, wonderful, unintentionally hilarious and my kind of nostalgia. It's not cool but it's so cool.

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