It was my wife’s birthday, and my gift to her was tickets to Step Up 3D, a movie she’d been wanting to see for some time. Now Step Up 3D is a dancing movie, a movie that features a lot of dancing scenes. And it is fairly modern, I guess, not just as far as its release date but also as far as it’s content; it reflects what is happening in the world today (or at least what is happening in somebody’s world today; not mine, but presumably somebody’s). However, as I watched this movie, I was reminded of another, far less modern movie, a movie called Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo.
Like Step Up 3D, Breakin’ 2 is about dancing. To be specific, it is about breakdancing and the breakdancing lifestyle. As suggested by the 2 in its title, it is a sequel to a film called Breakin’. Now I had never heard of Breakin’, and I don’t think many kids in my school had heard of it, either. We all heard of Breakin’ 2, though. It played at our local multiplex and was somewhat popular, not popular enough to cause any of us to take up breakdancing, but popular enough that many of us wanted to and did see it.
I myself saw Breakin’ 2 not at its initial release but a few months later; I saw it on HBO at a friend’s house after an afternoon at the mall. Unfortunately, I don’t remember much about it; all I can recall is it featured a character named Kelly who went by the street name “Special K” and a breakdance fighting scene. So the movie must not have been that memorable. More important than the movie itself, though, was the affect it has had on culture. It affected the culture at the time; it was a flagship of the breakdancing trend that was sweeping the nation back then, a flagship that both spread that trend and capitalized on it. Not only so, but it is still affecting the culture today. The phrase Electric Boogaloo has become a common phrase, one that is used to describe any movie sequel that is silly or unnecessary. It’s been used this way hundreds of times; the latest I’ve heard is Snakes On A Plane 2: Electric Boogaloo.
Now when we got home, I discovered that Breakin’ 2:Electric Boogaloo was on Netflix Instant Watch, so my wife (who had never heard of it for some reason) and I decided to give it a try. When we did, we discovered that Step Up 3D reminded me of Breakin’ 2 for good reason: they are almost the same movie. Both use the plot contrivance of a need for money to save a building (in Step Up, it is $100,000 to save a loft in New York, while in Breakin’ 2 it is $200, 000 to save a community building in L.A.) as a set-up for elaborate dancing scenes. So it is truly a case of “what was old is new again” or “what goes around comes around” or something like that. Ridiculous as it may be, we’re still dancing the electric boogaloo.