‘Fired Up!’ follows in the footsteps of similar ‘Bring It On’ knock-offs
“Bring It On” brought on a string of teen cheerleader romantic comedies, as if the public relentlessly spirit-fingered for sloppier, more predictable humor. Although “Fired Up!” is the best of “Bring It On” predecessors, it is depressing that more money has been spent on a movie featuring recycled plots about cheerleader rivalry and love.
Starring Nicholas D’Agosto, Eric Christian Olsen, Sarah Roemer
Runtime 90 mins.
Stater rating (out of five): ☆☆
Luckily, “Fired Up!” has a few saving graces, like its brainless humor that still manages to squeeze out some laughs or its hint of (although weak) satire in scenes like the cheerleaders watching “Bring It On,” reciting it line-by-line.
For any fans of the cheerleader genre, fear not, as “Fired Up!” covers the basics. The captain falls for someone she initially deemed not good enough, after ridding herself of an older, vain boyfriend. Klutziness, tumbles (not just the successful cheerleading kind) and a collection of other physical humor run rampant. Two cheer squads rival and battle it out at the end. And of course the winner pulls an out-of-this world stunt that shocks judges and causes a girl pile-up when the trophy is given to the underdog winners.
Two of the football team’s stars, wide receiver Shawn Colfax (Nicholas D’Agosto) and quarterback Nick Brady (Eric Christian Olsen), hear cute cheerleaders talk about the 300 girls attending cheer camp. Nick hatches a plan to infiltrate the camp of youthful girls instead of attending the summer’s football camp.
After bargaining with Shawn’s awkward sister, a member of the junior varsity team, to help convince the captain to let them go, it’s on. After a bus ride full of cheering, Akon’s song “Belly Dancer” plays as the boys arrive and see hundreds of booty-shorted girls stretching, flipping hair and hugging.
“I think our bus crashed, and we’re in heaven,” one of the boys said. Surprisingly, cliché lines like this are rare during the movie, as the boys naturally pong quick lines back-and-forth.
Cheerleading captain Carly (Sarah Roemer) is resistant to Shawn and Nick’s immature charm and skeptical to their motives, until the boys bring a burst of energy to the team. This is much needed, as the Tigers cannot bear seeing the reigning champs win again after being so downright mean to the girls. As the team gets better, so do Nick’s chances with Carly, even though she’s dating a Chumbawamba-loving med student who calls himself “Dr. Rick.” Unfortunately, Shawn’s crush on the older coach Diora (Molly Sims) gets nowhere except laughsville.
Most viewers could pick up on the foretelling that the risky move the “Fountain of Troy” will be the clutch end of the winning routine, as Coach Keith (David Walton) forbids the cheerleaders from mentioning or doing such an outrageously impossible stunt.
Although the movie’s substance is full of air, somehow the characters manage to say something funny through comic timing and physical humor. For such a brainless movie, it seems as if first-time director Will Gluck had some idea how to make it passable.
Contact all correspondent Brenna McNamara at [email protected]