Save the Last Dance 2

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Sarah Johnson (Izabella Miko) has always loved to dance and her dream has always been to hone her craft at Juilliard. Of course, countless dancers have that same dream and even among those with extreme dedication, few manage to make that dream come true. The classical dance program demands not only the highest skill levels out of the dancers, but also total commitment and focus. To make it as part of Juilliard’s elite, you must live for dance and all other parts of your life must be pushed aside. After years of sacrifice, hard work, and dedication, Sarah seems poised to do what so few are able to do, live her dream. Not just her Juilliard dream either, but the dream of a career as one of the world’s most skilled dancers. She still has to push herself as hard as she can, but her commitment has brought her within reach of her goals. At the same time however, she finds herself drawn to a much different world, the hip hop dance realm. She loves classical dance, but her passion burns for the urban style of hip hop, so she is torn. She also has passion for a musician named Miles Sultana (Columbus Short) and not just for his musical abilities. With her dream so close, will Sarah choose to put aside her passion, or will she risk it all to live for the moment?

The original Save the Last Dance was a smash success, hauling in big office with a small budget and helping push Julia Stiles further into superstardom. Given the bank involved, a sequel seemed like a given and now we have one, though this sequel skipped the theatrical rounds. As far as quality, I can understand the decision, as this movie is basically a low rent version of the original, but from a business standpoint, at least a short theatrical run should have been launched. But this one is direct to home video and as I said, plays like a remake, not a sequel in the traditional sense. The plot is very similar, a talented white girl finds herself drawn into the urban hip hop scene and falls for a black dude, with minor tweaks made to avoid a scene for scene rehash. If you loved the original, then you’ll probably be satisfied, as this is more of the same. Of course, the absence of Julia Stiles lessens the experience quite a bit, but the tone and style remains the same. I’m just not much of a fan of the original and since this is the same movie with small adjustments, I wasn’t impressed here. At least the original had Stiles, who brought her charisma and screen presence, whereas Izabella Miko fails to ignite the screen in the same ways. In the end, this one is for fans of the original who need to see the story play out one more time, but even then, a rental is the wisest choice.

Video: How does it look?

Save the Last Dance 2 is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. This one uses a lot of vivid colors and light schemes, so the transfer needed to be excellent and in this case, Buena Vista has delivered the goods. I found the colors to be vivid and always rich, but never too much so and flesh tones seem right on the money also. No complaints in terms of contrast either, as black levels are razor sharp and detail is solid from start to finish. A few minor issues do surface, but never hinder the experience.

Audio: How does it sound?

The Dolby Digital 5.1 surround option provides a basic dialogue driven soundtrack, spiced up with some deep bass and dynamic music. So when the music hits, the soundtrack amps up quite a bit and delivers an active, powerful presence. The surrounds really enhance the dance numbers, making us feel like we’re on the dance floor, which is great in this case. The rest of the audio is rather basic, dialogue driven drama type stuff, but is still well presented here. I found no problems with dialogue, as vocals were clear and never suffered from volume issues or harshness. This disc also includes a 2.0 surround option, as well as English subtitles.

Supplements: What are the extras?

The lone supplement is a brief behind the scenes featurette.

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