Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Honey 2 the Bee (see what I did there?)

"A mix between America's Best Dance Crew and Step Up, but way more awesome" - TEEN.COM

So pronounces the back cover of the Honey 2 blu-ray. I wasn't even aware Honey 2 existed and yet lo and behold there it was on the shelf at Video Vision just screaming, yelling, begging for me to rent it out. The cover looked so completely innocuous and nondescript - the title typeface appears to be Arial Bold - that I just knew I had to plant the cash down for it. Given that I had only just tweeted some several days earlier about this sort of film, it was like fate. Cliched fate, but fate nonetheless.

It did not disappoint. Somewhat completely different to the original Honey, Honey 2 (it gets away with the title because it's set at the same dance studio as the original, which has been hilariously renamed as "The Honey Daniels School for Dance") stars somebody called Katerina Graham as Maria, a young dancer taken out of "juvie" and put into the foster care of Honey Daniels' mother. I figured that this Maria chick must have been in the original, but it turns out she wasn't so I'm a bit confused as to what she's doing here and why Honey Daniels' mother gives too licks about her. The plot description on the back of the box exclaims that "the legacy of legendary dancer and choreographer Honey Daniels lives on", which is just hilarious since, if I recall correctly, all Honey Daniels did was fall ass backwards into some Z-grade hip-hop artist's videos before choreographing a routine for... Blaque Ivory? Man, Honey sucked!

Offside: Try saying "Honey Daniels" three times in the mirror and not even Jessica Alba will appear in your mirror for a cheap 5 minute cameo!

So ghetto! So gangsta! So fly!

Maybe it was because Honey 2 - from the same director as the original in case you were really desperate to know - ditched any ideas of being a legitimate film vehicle for Jessica Alba, but I deeply enjoyed it. Not because it's a great movie, but because it so directly plugs into everything that amuses me greatly about this genre of film. I feel like I have actually seen this movie before and that it was just relabelled as Honey 2, but I just don't care. I have a weakness, a sickness, for these dance movies. I know every single plot point there could possibly be and Honey 2 follows them to the letter. Sometimes that's all you want. Oh sure, it'd be great to have a dance movie that rivals, say, Saved the Last Dance for surprising dramatics (that line "we spend more time defending our relationship than actually having one" is such a good one!) or Step Up 2: The Streets for it's exploration of communal pride, but sometimes when you go to watch a horror movie you just want Friday the 13th Part XVI, you know? Or maybe that's just me? Is it just me? Oh...

Really, there is a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, a rich boy (who has to miss their big audition to take an exam), a crew competition with a $100,000 cash prize that will pay for the medical expenses of their sick grandma, a reality dance show called Battle Zone, "street battles", dance sex, dancing to imagined music, perfectly choreographed spontaneous dance battle sequences, training montages, ridiculously evil villains and enough casual racism ("ah hellz naw, I gots this beeych" and enough hoochy mama's "mmhmmm"-ing their way through sassy smartmouthing) to fill several Brett Ratner movies. The biggest laugh was reserved for the scene where Maria goes about getting inspiration throughout the city (ballet! mime! salsa! incredibly flamboyant vogueing! it's like Bring It On amongst the streets of New York City). And then, of course, there's the opening credits title card that reads "introducing Alexis Jordan, with Audrina Patridge and Mario Lopez", because that's what we all need, am I right?


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