The Movie: 4/10
Honey 2 is a sequel to the 2003 Honey, featuring Jessica Alba. Both movies are similar in that they involve strong female characters, who are troubled and find a way out of their despair through dance. In particular, street dance is the form of choice, and Honey 2 tries desperately to follow where Honey left off, but in reality, these are two very different movies.
The start of Honey 2 was right when I knew that this was not going to be my cup of tea, with a group of girls in a juvenile detention center, about to get into what appears to be a massive brawl. Maria (Katerina Graham) looks ready to exchange blows with a blonde girl who is obviously trying to start something, when they end up doing a choreographed dance battle instead. I was not only a bit taken aback, but I was waiting for a dream sequence to kind of interrupt the absurdity that was unfolding. No dream sequence was ever introduced, and thus begins the movie. (A side note: a goofy dance battle kind of makes your lead “bad-ass” character appear a lot less ferocious).
Honey 2 then spirals into a kind of cookie cutter dance movie, with Maria trying to stay out of the blue, living with Honey ‘s mother, while Honey is out of town. Maria, who loves to dance, is really trying to get her life together, while trying to escape her old boyfriend Luis, who tries to convince her that he has changed so that she will join up with his dance crew, the 718 crew. Apparently Maria took the fall for Luiz in the past, and his slick talking almost convinces her to join back up, but a change of events has her joining a new crew at Honey’s dance studio, where she is a janitor (who only seems to sweep the same clean floor over and over again).
The ultimate goal is to win the big money prize on “Dance Battle-Zone,” which is a dance show similar to what we see on tv, complete with Mario Lopez as the host, and supposed celebrity Audrina Partridge as a judge (is she a dancer.)
Honey 2. Does feature a lot more dance action than the original movie, but the acting and story are weak, and the end result is a slow, monotonous watch. The movie looks and sounds good, but the rest is not quite up to snuff. It is kind of like expecting to see a violent fight, but getting core graphed dancing instead – which is disappointing.
- Deleted Scenes –There are 10 deleted scenes included here that are superfluous to the movie itself. They run about 14 minutes, and include an extended juvenile detention scene dance-off (which to me was the strangest part of the movie, so I am glad they kept it short in the film).
- Dance Sequences –This is kind of a neat extra, as they show each of the major dance crews from the movie doing their dances. It really is am aging the amount of choreography that is required for one of these types of movies, and to have everyone be so spot on is crazy. This is the action, without all the acting.
- Behind The Dance Crews: The Making Of Honey 2 –This is your average behind the scenes feature, that delves into the fact that Honey 2 is a bigger dance movie than the original, even though it was a straight to video release. This really focuses on the dancing and the music that make this movie what it is.
- The Dream Continues –This short 4 minute extra looks at the differences between this movie and it’s 2003 predecessor.
- Dance Or Die Tryin –Focusing on the styles of dancing presented in the movie, this extra runs about it 7 minutes long and is one of my favorites on the disk, as it gives some insight into the amazing style and preparation that went into the movie.
- Director Commentary –Director Bille Woodruff has so much love off this movie that it is hard to to kind of get excited at the commentary. His passion is slightly infectious. The only issue is that the commentary really dies off and he starts to watch the movie, which kind of defeats the purpose of a commentary.
- DVD & Digital Copy –As always a, Universal drops a DVD and a digital copy of the movie, in case you need your dance fix on your iPhone or Droid.
Cover Art and Menus: 6/10
The cover for Honey 2 is a bit generic for this type of dance movie. It does make Katarina Graham look amazingly like Jessica Alba, which I guess is a good thing, as Alba is nowhere near this direct to video release, and if you are going to try to cash in on that audience, this almost makes it seem like Alba is still here. The menu is the classic black Universal menu with scenes and music playing.
Audio & Video: 8.5/10
The video for this straight to video release is pretty darn nice. There are amazing colors and sharpness in this 1.78:1 AVC encode, and even the dark shots look very nice. The close ups are really sharp, and overall the video just looks very very good.
The audio is even better for this Blu-ray, as the music is thumping and the rest of the movie is excellent. There was so much bass in the dance scenes that my floor was shaking, which for a non-explosion type of scene is rare. Having said that the use of the rear speakers throughout the movie was also extremely noticeable, which is excellent. This was a surprisingly brilliant sounding Blu-ray release.
Honey 2 is a dance and action rich follow up to the original movie. It picks up where the last movie left off, but instead of acting, this was adds more dancing. We get a wildly overacted movie instead of the more subtle Jessica Alba job, mixed with tons more dance crews and strange fights (I mean dance offs). The result is just a strange dance movie that goes nowhere. If you enjoy dancing, which apparently a lot of people do, since these movies keep popping up, then you will probably like Honey 2. Otherwise there is not much here to keep your interest. There are better dance movies out there to watch, and while this one is not so horrible that you can’t enjoy the dancing, it is not good enough to want to risk it.
Overall Score 4/10