2000 – Bring It On

by Alan Rapp on August 26, 2015

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Bring It On
  • IMDb: link

“I am a choreographer.  That’s what I do.  You are cheerleaders.  Cheerleaders are dancers who have gone retarded.  What you do is a tiny, pathetic subset of dancing.  I will attempt to turn your robotic routines into poetry, written with the human body.  Follow me, or perish, sweater monkeys.”
 

bring-it-on-posterReleased on or around this date 15 years ago, here’s a look back at 2015’s Bring It On. Torrance Shipman (Kirsten Dunst) gets her dream when she becomes the captain of the Fighting Toros cheerleading squad, only to find her world go downhill faster than a cheerleader on the football captain.

On her first day one of her teammates is injured (Bianca Kajlich) causing a mad search for a replacement.  Torreance, against the wishes of most of her teammates, chooses new transfer, punk girl Missy (Eliza Dushku), who has the gymnastic background but not the usual cheer spirit.

Torreance’s world gets even crazier when Missy informs her that the award-winning cheers the Toros are using were stolen by the former captain of the Toros (Lindsay Sloane) from a nearby urban high school (led by Gabrielle Union).  An attempt to use a choreographer (Ian Roberts) to create the team a new routine blows up in her face, and her cheating and unsupportive college boyfriend (Richard Hillman) destroys he confidence and prevents her from acting on her feelings for Missy’s brother Cliff (Jesse Bradford).

Can Torreance and the team create a new routine for championships, can they beat out the Clovers for the championship, and will she find happiness with Cliff she desires? C’mon, you already know the answers to these questions.

Despite being predictable, the film is fun.  It celebrates and takes pleasure in poking fun at the world of cheerleading without falling into cheap parody.  The cheerleading scenes are mostly done by the actual actresses, with the help of stunt extras in the larger rountines, and so let me give a huge shout out to Claire Kramer, Nicole Bilderback, Tsianina Joelson, Shamari Fears, Natina Reed, Brandi Williams, and Nathan West and Huntley Ritter for selling themselves as a complete team.

As for the main leads Dunst, Dushku, and Union all fit perfectly into their roles.  If there’s one part that bothered me it’s Jesse Bradford’s Cliff.  Bradford is fine in the role (other than looking far too old for a high school student), but the part has typical Hollywood flaws of his character liking the bands and books of the film’s director rather than a teen of this age (pretty much the cheapest movie trick available to up Cliff’s cool factor with spending time actually, you know, developing his character).  It’s a small problem, but Bradford’s charm overcomes most of these issues.

Kirsten Dunst, Gabrielle Union, and Eliza Dushku in cheerleading uniforms, what more do you want?  Bring It On is smart and funny little flick about cheerleading, friendship, love, and life.  A well put together cast, a good script from a first time writer, and good direction from a first time director produce something not only to enjoy, but to cheer about.

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