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REVIEWS OF BREAKIN' & BREAKIN' 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO

Alternate Title Poster YEAR: 1984
BREAKIN': It makes sense that Break Dancing was a pop culture phenomenon during the early to middle era 1980's being so damn cool to watch such dedicated and talented performers... And yet it’s completely understandable that as a fad, it faded out rather quickly...

Sabrina García as Lucia in Breakin' 2
Imagine if, in order to use a Hula Hoop, you had to jump in and out of the ring doing cartwheels while bobbing your hips at the same time…

Simply put, Break Dancing wasn’t something just anyone could do, on a whim or a dare or a gimmick or hobby, or even imagine they could ever possibly accomplish without years upon years of practice – and on top of that, in real life, kids were literally breakin' their skulls, backs and necks to acquire such unique, niche, otherwise pointlessly impossible skills...

Well obviously, the two main male stars know their trade, and both BREAKIN’ the film and the story raises the same question... If there’s a fad to be had, better bank on it... Although Adolfo "Shabba-Do" Quinones as a stubborn, idealistic Ozone doesn’t want anything to do with money unlike the leading lady Lucinda Dickey aka Special K who, not getting where she wants as a low-rent dancer, constantly hit on and threatened by her nefarious coach (Ben Lokey as Franco) while stuck in a hopeless waitress gig, joins the street ranks, trying desperately to get the guys (with the help of best friend Phineas Newborn III) "to move on up" to where she, not they, want to be…

Lucinda Dickey's other Cannon film
As a film, BREAKIN’ has all the makings of a cult classic, including taking itself extremely serious. And although Ozone is the film’s leader, moping around about our lovely starlet and not letting anyone see behind his wall of steely reverse...

See more Sabrina Garcia
And while Lucinda Dickey's training moves the story along and provides a perspective-glimpse into a strange new world as the scene-stealer is loyal, trusting, open-minded yet still apprehensive  Michael "Boogaloo Shrimp" Chambers as the really short, multi-talented mascot named Turbo (Arnold to Ozone's Willis), partaking in one dance with a broom that brings the movie to a Classic Musical ala Fred Astaire fantasy element. A study in pure escapism mixed with your typical "underdogs reigning over cultural adversity" tale, and without getting too preachy...

Thus, BREAKIN' truly balances all the best campy virtues of a “What Were We Thinking?” pop culture nostalgia while being completely entertaining. And future HAPPY GILMORE villain Christopher McDonald, as the group's agent, actually plays it warm and friendly... But he (supposedly) wanted nothing to do with the now infamous followup...

Addicted to Sabrina Garcia from Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo
BREAKIN' 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO  was churnned out the very same year after the original's box office success, and is more of a “Musical Based on The Film” than a necessary followup on its own: Instead of just one whimsical (broom) dance, the fantasy sequences replace the former urban, realistic street grooves and back-room competitions. In fact, within the first five minutes the entire downtown is dancing… including mailmen, cops, everyone...

Same thing happens in a hospital where the film’s endearing puppy, and whose actual nickname "Boogaloo" morphs into the title... that being Michael "Boogaloo Shrimp" Chambers as Turbo... mends his wounds after trying to thwart construction workers from tearing down the local Youth Center that could be replaced with a shopping mall unless, like THE BLUES BROTHERS, they get enough money to save the day…

More Sabrina García
This idealistic plot-line mostly rears up within scenes involving the corporate villains: a billion dollar goon and his shifty lawyer (paling to the original's seedy dance czar). Although, some of the more noticeable Class Envy returns from the original: for example, while the first film had our two heroes visiting an uptown party, totally out of place, here they go to our leading lady's mansion, owned by a close-minded father (her abundant wealth was never mentioned before)...

Camp Value: BREAKIN' **** BREAKIN' 2: ***
Ozone and Turbo's more caustic reaction to this filthy rich millionaire sums up the lightweight social aspect of the unfairly maligned and infamous ELECTRIC BOOGALOO, also featuring Sabrina Garcia, a Spanish speaking (and possibly voice-dubbed) dream-girl for Turbo...

And in the wise old mentor role, Harry Caesar plays the Youth Center’s leader, and a young ICE-T returns as the "Greek Chorus" DJ in bigger form, progressed from the grungy warehouse competitions of the original to an immense outdoor telethon showcase, where, unless enough money is raised, it’s all or nothing for the shelter and, of the production numbers, one in particular… where Ozone and Turbo dance with a dummy for a lesson in picking up chicks... is the most effective, actually moving the story along: The rest is pure eye-candy and, well, BREAKIN' 2 really doesn’t try to be anything but fun and banal... so this rushed, frivolous and infamous venture can and should be forgiven despite the severely maligned reputation.
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