Dancing Their Way Out of Gentrification: Breakin' 2 Electric Boogaloo

Disclaimer: While this isn’t beauty related I hope you’ll give this and the reviews that are part of the 1984-athon presented by Forgotten Films a shot.

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Breakin’ 2 Electric Boogaloo picks up not too long where the original Breakin’ left off. Kelly(Lucinda Dickey) is still dancing, but fed up with being in the chorus. Her father still wants her to give up her dream of dancing professionally and go to Princeton, but seems to tolerate her dancing as long as she’s not hanging out with those “street people”. Of course Kelly is still hanging out with those street people, namely Turbo(Michael ‘Boogaloo Shrimp’ Chambers) and Ozone(Adolfo ‘Shabba-Doo’ Quinones).

We meet Turbo and Ozone cleaning their garage apartment in anticipation of Kelly’s arrival. Ozone tries to downplay the effort while Turbo insists that they don’t clean like this for other girls. When Kelly shows up it’s obvious that Ozone and Kelly have some type of thing going on because they share a kiss that doesn’t happen between people who are just dance partners.

This is when we get introduced to Miracles, the neighborhood community center, where Turbo and Ozone teach breakdancing children and teens. We meet Byron the head of Miracles and see that it’s not just community center but a second home to all of the people who go there. However, Miracles is in trouble. A developer wants to build a shopping center where Miracles stands and the gang has to come up with $200,000 to save it.

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Breakin 2 Electric Boogaloo is one of those movies that hit me hard on the nostalgic tip. The songs in the music montages, the dancing, and less than stellar acting are part of my childhood. My perspective on it has changed though. Breakin 2 is a typical underdog story, but it’s also a story that’s timely especially in these times of gentrification and people being priced out of their neighborhoods while Whole Foods and Starbucks spring up around them.

It’s a story about classism and racism because the people in the neighborhood surrounding Miracles have to contend with people who have more resources and believe they know what’s best for them. They’re also up against people who don’t think they deserve compassion or help because of preconceived notions steeped in stereotypes. And yet it’s still a fun movie.

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There are dance battles and jokes. A love triangle between Ozone, Kelly, and Ozone’s ex Rhonda. Turbo gets to shine a bit. He gets a love interest and there’s a silly exchange between Ozone and him while Ozone tries to show him some moves to get the ladies. Turbo is also the star of a scene where he dances on the ceiling. (sidenote: It turns out Turbo was dancing in a rotating room that was used in “A Nightmare On Elm Street”. Freddy’s glove is hanging on the wall as a thank you). He also adds a bit of drama with a near catastrophic injury while taunting the construction workers and by putting his body on the line, after a daring hospital escape, when bulldozers come to tear down Miracles.

At the conclusion of the movie the Ozone, Turbo, Kelly, and the community organize a final show to help raise the money to save Miracles. There are costume changes, mimes, dancing, and mascots. They get the attention of the media and are able to raise 100K on top of the 50k they raised before the show.

****SPOILER ALERT****

Since the media is covering the show Kelly’s parents see the show and the effort they’re putting in to save Miracles and essentially their neighborhood. Seeing this causes a convenient change of heart in Kelly’s father so he and Mrs. Bennett head to Miracles. Mr. Bennett realizes that everyone has to live their life the best way they know how and that includes Kelly so he writes a check for $50k and saves Miracles.

****END SPOILER****

I want to thank Forgotten Films for including me in the 1984-athon. Be sure to check out the reviews of other bloggers participating.

1984 A-thon

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