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Sunday 25 June 2017

REVIEWS: 'Honey 2' by Paul Whittington

Paul Whitington

Jessica Alba was only 22 and little known when she starred in the 2003 dance film Honey. Though the critics hated it, they loved her and the film kick-started her rise to stardom.

Almost eight years later, this sequel has emerged that has only the most tenuous connection to the original.

Alba herself is nowhere in sight, though most of the action takes place in the inner city dance school her character, Holly Daniels, founded.

Maria Ramirez (Katerina Graham) is a troubled 17-year-old orphan who's released from a juvenile detention centre into the care of Honey's mother, Connie (Lonette McKee).

Maria has fallen in with the wrong crowd, but when she takes a cleaning job at the dance school she makes friends with a student called Brandon (Randy Wayne) who asks her to join his dance crew.

Maria soon becomes their star and choreographer, but when they enter a high-profile TV dance competition she comes face to face with her former boyfriend and her old crew.

These street-dance films all have the same basic plot: a girl or boy from the wrong side of the tracks is discovered by a dance school and ends up overcoming the suspicions of the students to lead a dance crew to glory.

Romance is an essential component, as is the presence of a bitter rival, and Honey 2 rehashes this well-worn formula without a blush.

It's not especially well acted, and while Graham is a fine dancer she's no great shakes as a thespian.

Some of the dance sequences are impressive, but less so for instance than the choreography in last year's Step Up 3D. In fact, everything that Honey 2 attempts has been done before -- and far better -- by others.

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