Breakin'Reviewed By David Cornelius
Posted 04/03/05 23:21:06
It’s right there as one of Newton’s Laws of Physics, if I’m not mistaken, right next to that thing about gravity: There can be no “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo” without “Breakin’.” Makes sense to me. So before anyone can attempt to wrangle what is arguably the single greatest moment in 80s Bad Moviedom, they must visit its predecessor. Which is not, as you could imagine, an easy task.For starters, “Breakin’” comes to us from Golan-Globus, who is to cinema what G. Gordon Liddy is to hotel security. As a director for their cash-in on the breakdancing craze of the era, the producers picked someone with an insider’s clear understanding of hip-hop and the urban street dancing lifestyle: Joel Silberg. Yes, the same Joel Silberg of such hits as “Divorce Tel Aviv Style.” Oy vey, indeed. They then filled their cast with a Solid Gold dancer, guys named “Shabba-Doo” and “Boogaloo Shrimp,” and Christopher McDonald, fresh off his starmaking turn in “Grease 2.” Oh, and Ice-T is in it, thus beginning his lifelong obsession of appearing in very awful movies for low sums of money.
The story is so simple that you understand why the idiots who made “Honey” and “You Got Served” found it easy to rip off. Lucinda Dickey (the aforementioned Solid Gold dancer) stars as Kelly, up and coming jazz and classical dancer. She’s destined for greatness; all that stands in her way are the sexual advances of her greasy dance coach, Franco (Ben Lokey). She shoos him away, opting instead to journey down to what could possibly be the gayest part of the entire universe, a beach where all men dance while wearing purple leotards so tight that their packages earn their own zip codes.
Strangely, Kelly’s ultra-flaming, purple leotard-wearing best pal, Adam (Phineas Newborn III, a name so fake it must be real), is presented as hetero. Even quiet old ladies who think Liberace was straight will be laughing at the sound of Adam’s readings of “boy howdy do I likes the ladies” bits of dialogue.
So. Yes. Kelly meets two street dancers, Ozone (Adolfo “Shabba-Doo” Quinones) and Turbo (Michael “Boogaloo Shrimp” Chambers), and is so impressed with their talents that she chooses to ditch her classical stylings and join the duo as a new dance troupe. After getting soundly “served” at a local dance-off (enter Ice-T, and what has in hindsight become the most surreal cameo since John Wayne popped up in “The Greatest Story Ever Told”), the trio decide to work hard not only to re-serve those who served them (the baddies are known as “Electro Rock,” kill me now), but also to enter a major ballet competition, where they hope to overcome the scorn street dancing gets from the snooty set and show ’em all just how talented they can be.
In other words, yes, “Breakin’” is one of the most retarded movies you will ever see. Dance training montages? Dancers who couldn’t act their way into the fourth season of “Fame?” Popping? Locking? Ice-T? I am convinced that this movie was made simply as payback for every white moron who thought he could do “the worm.” Breakdancing was a man-made scourge, and “Breakin’” is the price we had to pay for our arrogance.
There are more bad scenes in this movie than in any five Mariah Carey movies, and the most putrid of all is the moment in which Ozone and Turbo arrive at an upscale (read: white) lunch party. Snooty rich white men frown on their urban appearance. Snooty rich white women are comically curious about their wacky street language and funky way of dancing. Boy oh boy, do white people not understand black people!
It’s not racist as much as it is just so very, very stupid, and hey, at least it’s five minutes where we’re not asked to watch the stars dance. Oh, do they dance. And dance. And dance some more. And none of it is very good. The dance-offs make me hungry for the genius of “You Got Served,” that’s how bad the dancing is here. Which is kinda weird, you know, considering this is a movie about dancing and all. Chalk it up to Silberg’s innate sense of what’s “def,” “fresh,” “dope,” and, oh, I dunno, “da bomb.” (It’s a skill he showed again in such later films as “Rappin’” and - yes! - “Lambada.” Who better to show us the hot and sassy ways of our urban youth than a 40-year-old Israeli?)
So why do we sit through “Breakin’?” Well, it’s a very fun Bad Movie, yes, but also because it whets our appetite for the main course. It’s even right there in the closing credits: Ice-T (just a few years away from politely and quietly explaining his opinion on the law enforcement community) raps that “this story’s through, but wait ’til Part Two!” And the screen reveals the “Electric Boogaloo” logo, declaring it “the Dance Sensation of Tomorrow!”Because there’s nothing like sitting through one of the worst movies of your life only to find a promo for its sequel. Dandy.
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