Leïla Sy and Kery James are back with the sequel of their 2019 crime-drama Street Flow, and this new movie is as dull as its prequel. You know a film is desperate to stretch its legs for the second time when it unnecessarily chooses to end on cheap cliffhangers. The first part concluded with Demba (Kery James) getting hit by a bullet. In the sequel, he once again finds himself at gunpoint at the end. What's more, if Street Flow gave us a debate between Soulaymaan (Jammeh Diangana) and Lisa (Chloé Jouannet) near the finish line, Street Flow 2 also provides us with another discussion between Soulaymaan (Jammeh Diangana) and a police officer during the final portions. Oh yes, we again get a scene with two people on a bike shooting a character. Someone says, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and expecting a different result." But that's precisely what the directors have done here. They have tweaked and repeated certain things from the first film and gave us this sequel.
The problem with the Street Flow movies is that they are so preoccupied with delivering social messages that they forget to be absorbing or interesting. Almost every line wants to open your eyes, and this preachy tone becomes tiring within seconds. The film's subject concerns the Paris suburbs and the issues faced by its minority population, but it lacks rage or passion. The images are bland and feeble. They come, do their job, and exit. Not a single frame is evocative or energetic, and Street Flow 2 becomes enervating after a while.
The directors fail to create convincing characters. Everybody acts like a mouthpiece ready to dispense enlightening thoughts of the writer. Hence, we hear lines like, "In religion, all sins can be repented as long as you are alive." Things just happen between the characters, and that too so rapidly that it all feels jarring and unnatural. There is a lack of motivation, or you can say there is simply one motivation for every single thing that takes place here: "Hey, everything is written on the pages." In Street Flow, Soulaymaan and Lisa fell in love because the movie wanted them to be in a relationship. There was no spark, no chemistry between the couple. Similarly, in Street Flow 2, Demba and one of his colleagues become romantically involved with each other because that's what's written in the script. There is no sense of intimacy between them.
The Street Flow movies are haphazardly assembled. In this part, for instance, a flashback involving a bike accident is awkwardly inserted into the middle of a conversation. The film has no rhythm and moves around so aimlessly that its intentions get muddled. In one scene, you are in the city; in the next, you find yourself in a rural area, watching characters repair a school. Whatever. You just don't give a damn. There is no one worth caring for, so when someone dies, you feel nothing for them. There is a scene where Soulaymaan tells his mother he defended a man who broke his wife's jaw, and this emotionally complex moment gets a generic treatment through a brief shot of him looking at the city from the rooftop.
Street Flow 2, like its predecessor, is amateurish and a level below mediocre. It doesn't help that even the performances do nothing to elevate this material. Movies like these are "serious trash." They are utterly forgettable and rot along with other unimaginative, unremarkable Netflix titles.
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