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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 5.88%
Just Average: 2.94%
Pretty Crappy: 23.53%
Sucks: 14.71%

1 review, 28 user ratings

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Save the Last Dance 2
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by Todd LaPlace

"Turn on the lights. This dance is over."
2 stars

Do you remember when MTV was about music? There are still some interesting shows, but it’s hard not to be disappointed by “music television” missing the music. Do you remember when “Save the Last Dance” was about dancing? There are still some interesting elements in “Save the Last Dance 2,” but it’s hard not to be disappointed by a “Dance” movie missing the dance.

Personal feelings about remakes aside (largely unnecessary, as most pretty much blow), they’re nice to review because the critique can still be objective. Should the remake attempt to duplicate the original, or should it attempt to infuse it with new life? What’s more important, replicating or reimagining? And for that matter, should the update start with a proven source, like “Psycho” or “Charade” (a brilliant film remade into dismal “Marky Mark” Wahlberg vehicle “The Truth about Charlie”), or fulfill originally missed potential (for an example, see the Rat Pack version of “Ocean’s Eleven”…or better yet, don’t)?

But the same flexibility cannot be awarded to the largely analogous sequel. Again, generally regarded as unnecessary, sequels should feel like an organic continuation of the previous, attempting to hit that delicate balance between propelling the story forward and providing a familiarity, all while desperately trying not to suck. It’s a difficult hat trick to score, which is why the list of praised sequels is largely limited to “The Godfather Part II,” “Aliens” and “Toy Story 2,” but confoundingly, it doesn’t seem to be stopping anyone from trying.

Being released on the same day as “The Butterfly Effect 2” (don’t even get me started), “Save the Last Dance 2” is continuing an extremely odd new trend: the direct-to-DVD sequel. Seemingly begun by Disney in the mid-90s, the trend attempts to cash in on a familiar title, even though many of these films bear little resemblance to their originals and “Save the Last Dance 2” is no exception. Sure, the story is technically a continuation of the first film’s climax — having been accepted to Julliard, Sara is now starting her freshman year — but it never answers the key questions to any sequel; why should we care? Were there really unanswered questions from the first film that even merited this sequel? Do we really care what happened to Sara after her audition?

More than likely, producers took an independent dance flick (possibly called “Steppin’ Out,” the sequel’s working title) and saw potential for capturing the teen girl market with cool dance sequences, a strong male love interest and a heartwarming moral of following one’s passions. The only thing they didn’t see was market for a movie called “Steppin’ Out,” so they had writer Kwame Nyanning tweak the story by changing the protagonist to Sara Johnson, making sure the story was set at Julliard and adding minor details like an ex at Georgetown, a jazz musician father and a necklace “for luck” from a dead mother (even though, oops, it was given “for love” in the first film). I’m glad that the new title is getting the film released (since the female market is still largely untapped), but since it’s now an unnecessary sequel, I’m forced to express my disappointment. This is not the cute teen movie we all pleasantly fell in love with five years ago.

Replacing Julia Stiles, “Coyote Ugly’s” Izabella Miko stars as ballet b-girl Sara, who’s delivered a ego blow by snobby classmates and tyrant teacher Monique Delacroix (Jacqueline Bisset), who puts with her second tier students. Her salvation, however, is her history of hip hop guest lecturer Miles (Columbus Short), a classical composer-turned-hip hop beat artist. He takes her to a private club and provides her the opportunity to showcase her freestyle dance moves. Her dream has always been to be a prima ballerina, but her passion for hip hop (and a lot of pushing from Miles) is making her rethink her dancing future.

The story may be slightly trite and overdone, but there are a few eccentric elements that make it interesting. Like “American Beauty’s” Ricky and his video images, Miles collects moments of sound from his life. He captures the sound of the club when Sara dances, and later her heartbeat just before they have sex. His prize possession is a tape of the ice breaking on the Hudson River in 1989. Despite the premise focusing on Sara and her dancing, the filmmakers (director David Petrarca and Nyanning, both men) save the depth for Miles, the only character that’s more than just a standard type. His music is labeled avant-garde and his parental backstory serves as a major plot development. His role is so prominent, that Sara is largely relegated to the background. Her only chance to really capture the spotlight is when she’s dancing, and even those moments, so prominent and well done in the original, are lacking energy. Miko appears to be a better dancer than Stiles, but the sequences are often lazily and haphazardly thrown together, appearing almost as an afterthought. There are moments to admire, but it’s never a good sign when the most impressive element is also the most boring. I think it’s time for this dance to end.

I liked “Save the Last Dance.” I really did. I wanted to like “Save the Last Dance 2.” I really did. But I just didn’t.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=15442&reviewer=401
originally posted: 10/14/06 18:21:20
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For more in the Direct To Video Sequels series, click here.

User Comments

5/28/21 Shah Disappointing. Bad message, give up your dream for a guy pushing you for his thing 1 stars
8/21/20 Kia Pfft all these high star rated comments are garbage, y'all know this movie was complete tra 1 stars
8/13/19 Catherine I have watched it over and over. My son is an actor and I know real talent when I see it!. 5 stars
5/14/16 Wendy This movie is so horrible. The acting is terrible. I couldn't even finish it. 1 stars
10/30/11 Jeff Wilder SImply mimics the original and hopes we won't notice. 1 stars
12/17/08 Tonia Izabella rocks she is best actress ever and beatiful 5 stars
3/12/08 Ben Izabella is better than Stiles 5 stars
5/21/07 megan izabella best actress ever and beatiful 5 stars
5/09/07 Mandee i could watch it over and over it was great...should of used the original actors though 5 stars
2/11/07 kevares it's good, especially watching columbus scott. 4 stars
12/05/06 paulo amaizing 5 stars
12/04/06 erica shaw bets movie i have seen in a long time 5 stars
11/29/06 maja awsome great i love izabella 5 stars
11/24/06 June Do not watch if you had any attachment to the first movie 2 stars
11/21/06 celeste should have use the oringal sara. but n the long run it was ok 3 stars
11/07/06 seda this film is amazing! 5 stars
11/06/06 fred not impressed 2 stars
11/04/06 kiki izabella is hot 5 stars
11/04/06 janina wow!!! great 5 stars
11/04/06 magda best ever 5 stars
11/04/06 adam miko is best actrees ever 5 stars
11/03/06 mr86 horrible 1 stars
10/29/06 Aurelia Best movie EVER 5 stars
10/27/06 krysty awsome i love dance movies this one tops number one.... loved it 5 stars
10/26/06 Sjaa WOW!!!! 5 stars
10/20/06 Jones great dancing, hot chick 4 stars
10/20/06 KRIS AWESOME 5 stars
10/17/06 gaga bter then 1 5 stars
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  10-Oct-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 10-Oct-2006



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