Breakin’ (1984)

Breakin’ (1984)

“It takes more than talent; you’ve gotta be tough.”

When a waitress (Lucinda Dickey) and her friend (Phineas Newborn III) from dance class meet up with a pair of break dancers (Adolfo “Shabba-Doo” Quinones and Michael “Boogaloo Shrimp” Chambers) in Venice, they try to convince Dickey’s new agent (Christopher McDonald) to give their troupe a chance at fame — but will Dickey’s slimy dance teacher (Ben Lokey) attempt to interfere?

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Dancers

This quickie pop flick was made expressly by Cannon Films to bank on the success of a 1983 documentary entitled Breakin’ and Enterin’, about the new(ish) phenomenon of break dancing. The serviceable script consists of lines like the following:

“She ain’t no street dancer; she knows nothin’ about what we do.”
“Street dancing belongs on the street; it won’t get you to Broadway.”

… etc. And while the characters are two-dimensional, Dickey (a talented dancer) at least has nice screen presence.

Thankfully, there are plenty of impressive dance sequences taking place on the streets, in clubs, and in studios — which is what we’re really watching for anyway.

While interracial harmony abounds, class differences are highlighted to a ludicrous degree:

… though it’s all in service of miraculously bridging divides by the end. And yes, that is Ice T. in his screen debut as a DJ.

Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:

  • Plenty of fun dancing sequences
  • Good use of L.A. location shooting

Must See?
No, but it’s worth a look for its cult status. Listed as a Cult Movie in the back of Peary’s book.


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