Film Review: Honey 2

Honey 2 should prove to be enjoyable for the younger end of the teenage spectrum and those into dance movies. Others may find the predictability tiresome, however.

Recently released from a juvenile detention centre, Maria is taken in by foster parent Connie Daniels. Working off her community service at the Honey Daniels dance school, Maria rediscovers her passion for dancing when she finds a new dance crew. Her old crew are still on the scene, particularly Luis, who attempts to woo Maria back…

Honey 2 is a by-the-numbers dance movie, hoping to capitalise on the success of recent films from that genre, such as Step Up. Bille Woodruff’s film offers no real surprises in the narrative stakes. Even young viewers will be able to spot every development a mile away.

Despite being a sequel to 2003’s Honey, there is little linking the two films besides the dance theme. The central character of the original film does not make an appearance and is barely mentioned. Instead, the film features Honey’s mother Connie as the only real connection between the films. It seems as if the title has been used for recognition rather than anything else.

Screenwriters Blayne Weaver and Alyson Fouse tread the familiar path of dance movie conventions. Like others in this genre, the film focuses on a central character and the wider plot of a dance competition. There is little character development in Honey 2; each of the group fulfils their stereotype role. Maria herself is a little more three-dimensional, although there is nothing notable about this protagonist.

The lack of narrative ingenuity is not surprising; Honey 2 is all about the dancing after all. The choreography in the numerous dance sequences is good, and the most entertaining aspect of the film. Particularly interesting are the different styles of dancing in the competition heats, a break from the increasingly indistinguishable routines from the main crew. Perhaps what lets some of the dance sequences down is the editing. There are frequent cuts to close-up shots, which detract from the overall routines.

Katerina Graham is full of energy and attitude as Maria. She is less convincing in some of the more emotional moments however. Graham and the rest of the cast are let down by some sub-par dialogue. As Brandon, Randy Wayne tries his best, while Christopher ‘War’ Martinez is as cartoonish as the inexplicable inclusion of his nickname in the titles. Audrina Partridge comes across as wooden even when playing herself.

Honey 2 will only appeal to a niche audience that will most likely know what to expect. It is a shame that the film lacks originality, but at least the dance routines are entertaining.