HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Honey 3: Dare to Dance
HTS Overall Score:83
It wasn’t that long ago that movies like “Honey 3” were almost never heard of. Back in the day you’d have one or two cult movies like “Beat Street”, or “Breakin” (and of course the sequel, “Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo”). Movies about hip hop dancing as the highlight wasn’t nearly so prominent, but over the last decade we’ve seen a LOT more of them come to the screen. The “Step Up” series has already made it to 5 films and it looks like the “Honey” franchise is about to do the same. It all started with Jessica Alba playing Honey, in a hip hop version of “Flashdance”, and it morphed into an underwhelming sequel that focused more on amping up the background dancers than anything. “Honey 3: Dare to Dance” goes full on “Step up 5” on us and goes straight to the dance battles, ala “Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo”.
Melea (Cassie Ventura) is a New York City girl living in Cape Town, South Africa, where she is going to school while dancing her nights away with her friends. HOWEVER, she has just run up against a brick wall when her scholarships have run dry and she’s JUST shy of graduating. Coming up with the brilliant idea to hold a hip hop dance version of Romeo and Juliet at the local struggling theater, she has to bring together a group of dancers who can not only dance, but act. Obstacles in her way tend to be enormous, but not insurmountable. The theater that she has chosen to hold the play in hasn’t made money in years, and is now under contract to be sold to some big wig corporation who wants to tear it down *cough*breakin 2”*cough*, and tensions run hot and wild when Melea faces off against local Cape Town native, Ishani (Sibonggile Mlambo), who sees Melea as competition for the rich and famous musician, Taj, who has taken a shine to the New York City girl’s play. Not to mention there is Melea’s longtime boyfriend, Erik (Kenny Wormald) who feels pushed to the side the more and more Taj contributes to the show.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=78274[/img]It’s hard to dig deep into “Honey 3: Dare to Dance”, as there’s not much meat and potatoes to chew on. The film is a walking cliché with every hip hop stereotype in the book thrown into a blender with “Breakin” and “Beat Street” and turned into one giant music video. In fact, that’s really the main attraction for the film. Kind of like a martial arts film, we’re not here to see good acting or good storytelling. We’re here to watch those bodies move! And move they most certainly do. I’m not going to deny that “Honey 3” is an atrocious film acting wise. No sane human being could. There are clichés, stilted dialog galore, and a feeling like the writers for the film took the word “dope” and tried to find a way to cram it into every scene that the movie has. HOWEVER, the dancing is simply phenomenal. The dancers (I can’t call them actors) are superb, and show a palpable excitement when involved in their craft. The choreography is exquisite and everyone involved shows more skill in their left pinky, dance wise, then I have in my entire body (and I’m not shabby either).
Still, I wish more time had been put into the scripting and acting lessons than has obviously been going on with the choreography. Lines are so wince worthy that was physically cringing more than once. Still, it’s a strange sort of hypnosis that draws the viewer in, fascinated by the very obviously talented dancers, but also laughing hysterically at the painful dialog. There’s a scene at the beginning of the movie where the crew has a “dance battle”, that is almost as laughable as the gang “dance battle” done in “Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo” (in fact I know large portions of the script were taken straight from that 80s pile of classic cheese”).
The characters are likeable at least, and even though Catherine Cyran wrote all of her characters like 14 year old valley girls who have watched too much hip hop and Eminim videos for their own good, they all seem to mesh decently enough. The dancing is STILL the main (and really only) reason to watch “Honey 3: Dare to Dance”, but it is at least a passably good time thanks to the rocking sound track and incredibly well done dance moves.
Rated PG for some sequences of scary action and peril
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=78282[/img]“Honey 3” has wonderful and vibrant 1.78:1 framed Blu-ray transfer that is RAZOR sharp from beginning to end. Shot digitally it is crystal clear with fantastic detailing from beginning to end. Clothing and intimate facial details show up without any flaws and the depth of the image is startling. Shot on location in South Africa, the urban environment is vibrantly colored with all of the stylistic colors of a hip hop club, to the graffiti and torn up neighborhoods of the city itself. Taj’s sportscar shines and shimmers in the sunlight and you can actually see the pieces of dirt that road kicks up onto his rims perfectly clear. Black levels are deep and inky, even in the constantly shifting motif of the opening nightclub where strobe lights are mixing with the blackness of the club itself. Simply put, I can’t find ANY flaws in the encode whatsoever.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=78290[/img]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track that universal has given us is just about as terrific too. Basically the movie is one big music video, so expect all channels blasting all around with hip hop beats and wildly immersive tones. The dialog is always strong, locked up front in the center channel and perfectly balanced with the cacophony of dance hall music. The surrounds are used with great aplomb, pretty much in nonstop motion with the music dominated the sound stage. LFE is punishing, with deep chest pounding bass that doesn’t let up till the credits role. There are certain scenes that are more dramatic, such as when Taj and Ishani have their talk, where the surrounds and LFE channel tend to fade into the background, but overall this is a VERY engaging and highly intense track.
• Deleted Scenes
• Extended Dance Sequences
• Behind the Dance: The Making of Honey 3
• South African Backdrop
• Battle Dakota Club
• Audio Commentary with Director Bille Woodruff
While “Hone 3” lacks some serious story development and acting skills from its participants, it DOES have an incredibly talented group of dancers who put an enormous amount of enthusiasm into their roles. The dances are well done to the extreme, and I must admit that those were what I was really looking forward to from scene to scene. Dancing is one of the few art forms on this planet that I can’t get enough of, and am constantly amazed at what the human body can do in that form. The movie itself won’t excite most people unless you’re into dance, but those of us who enjoy watching people move their bodies to pulsing music should be entertained enough for a watch. Otherwise I would just skip it. Audio and video are off the charts and act as the two best parts of the whole Blu-ray package.
Starring: Kenny Wormald, Bobby Lockwood, Cassie Ventura
Directed by: Bille Woodruff
Written by: Catherine Cyran
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 7.1,Portuguese: DTS 5.1, French: DTS 5.1, Hungarian: DTS 5.1, Spanish: DTS 5.1, Polish: DTS 5.1, Russian: DTS 5.1
Runtime: 96 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: September 6th, 2016
Buy Honey 3 On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Give It A Watch
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