What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this sequel to the 2003 dance movie Honey follows the same general pattern and deals with similar themes of sexuality, class, race, and how easily kids from gritty neighborhoods can fall into trouble. There's some strong language ("s--t," "bitch," "ass"), a couple of scenes of passionate kissing, some provocative dancing, and a few Spanish curse words. There are also a few positive lessons about using your talent, not falling for a smooth-talking jerk, and not judging others based on their background.
What's the story?
After Maria Ramirez (Kat Graham) is released from a New York City juvenile detention center, her guardian (Lonette McKee) encourages her to return to dance -- especially since the dance studio in town is named after her foster mom's daughter, Honey Daniels. At first Maria considers reconciling with her ex-boyfriend (who's the reason she was sent to juvie) and his dance crew, but instead she joins a rival crew headed by NYU student Brandon (Randy Wayne) and his pals and offers to be their choreographer. Maria and a couple of the girls on the crew put their differences behind to enter a prestigious hip-hop competition, but Maria's problems with her ex (and growing feelings for Brandon) keep getting in their way.
Is it any good?
On paper, Honey 2 must have seemed like a surefire attraction for tweens and teens: An edgy but beautiful protagonist realizes that her ex is a criminal (and a cad) and finds a way to enact revenge by joining a rival dance crew competing in a local tournament. The movie's script combines some elements of West Side Story, Save the Last Dance, Step Up, and You Got Served; plus the star is a supporting actress from The Vampire Diaries -- what could go wrong? Apparently almost everything, except for perhaps a few of the dance-off scenes.
Graham, who's so charismatic as a fierce young witch on the CW's hit supernatural soap, isn't right for the role. She's not convincing in the least as a troubled girl who just got out of juvenile detention. Even as she calls the clean-cut Brandon "college boy," you get the sense that Graham (the goddaughter of Quincy Jones) is ill at ease playing Maria from the hood. Worse still, despite her considerable dancing experience as a hip-hop background dancer, Graham isn't as natural seeming in the choreographed sequences. Probably the only redeeming part of the entire movie is getting to see Jennifer Lopez's buzzed-about beau, Casper Smart, outside of a tabloid photo. He's definitely a gifted dancer -- if not actor.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the popularity of dance movies. What makes a dance movie good? Do impressive dance sequences make up for a lackluster plot? Name your favorite dance flicks.
How are race and class treated in Honey 2? Does Brandon and Maria's relationship encounter any challenges because of their differences?