Anyone who watched Louis Theroux’s most recent documentary Miami Mega Jail, will have a vague idea of what the American prison system is like. Not nice. So, like me you may be slightly confused by the opening of Honey 2 which sees a bunch of made-up tough girls having a dance-off while in juvenile detention. I’ll tell you what – Louis missed out on that one.
Honey 2 is the follow up to the 2003 film Honey which starred Jessica Alba, which I had completely forgotten about when going to see the sequel. Jessica Alba, an actress with a relatively respectable career, started with Honey, a film which had box office success but was royally panned by the critics. All very confusing.
And unfortunately it looks like this one is going the same way. I love dance films, but with the relatively recent Step Up 3D and Street Dance which were in spectacular 3D, Honey 2 fell short. I think I am right in saying that the film’s main draw is meant to be the dance not the plot, but if this is the case then they’ve really shot themselves in the foot by not offering a 3D experience like other recent urban dance films. The dancing is good, but when I know I could be getting a back flip in my face it all falls a little flat.
So, the plot then. Maria Ramirez, played by Katerina Graham who you may recognise from the TV show The Vampire Diaries, returns to her Bronx roots, which are suitably gritty after a stint in juvie. She’s living with the now legendary Honey’s mum and doing community service in the dance studio Honey created in the first film. She catches the eye of Brandon (Randy Wayne) who wants her to dance in his crew. Trouble is that her old boyfriend Luis (Christopher ‘War’ Martinez) who is a part time drug dealer, part time crew leader wants her back in his crew, the 718.
The urban dance film formula plays out and there’s the obligatory posh boy falling for the girl from the wrong side of the tracks, but it’s ok because they both share the love of dance. It all culminates in a televised dance competition with Mario Lopez and Audrina Patridge popping up for some embarrassing cameos. Maria’s new crew go up against the 718. We won’t tell you what happens, but as you may have guessed, the film ends with Maria in love, on the straight and narrow and with a real sense of her true identity.
In between cringing at the terrible script I was left completely confused about who this was aimed at. There is a strong emphasis on sexuality throughout the film and other adult themes such as drug dealing, which are just not suitable for young teens. So, I’m not sure who is going to watch it or even really who will enjoy it. All we can hope is that this is the start of something more for Katerina Graham as it was for Alba and that all future urban dance films will take the 3D route.
Buy the Honey 2 [DVD] on Amazon now.
If you think you know a lot about dance films then have a go at our dance quiz.