BRING IT ON: DVD
Rancho Carne High School's football team is well and truly used to losing but its cheerleading squad, The Toros, are aiming up for a sixth straight cheerleading championship. Newly-elected team captain Torrance (Kirsten Dunce) is full of cheerful confidence until she realises their choreography has been stolen from The Clovers, a hip-hop cheer squad from East Compton. Torrance battles her conscience and the rebellious independence of new recruit Missy (Eliza Dushku), while The Clovers captain Isis (Gabrielle Union) tackles a more fundamental problem: how to raise the necessary funds to make it to the finals.
Review by Jake Wilson:
Easily the most memorable thing in Bring It On is the punchy opening dance number, where a group of cheerleaders in skimpy red outfits prance round a high school gym chanting 'I'm sexy! I'm cute! I'm popular to boot!' and a little later 'I swear I'm not a whore!' The screen fairly drips with contempt for these bimbos and what they represent - it's as if male filmmakers go to Hollywood to take revenge on all the girls who turned them down in high school. A comparable resentment of 'popular' girls and women is a subtext of many recent Hollywood comedies (including the overrated American Beauty); directed by a man but scripted by a woman, Bring It On both exploits this misogyny and tries half-heartedly to get beyond it.
After a string of jokes about cheerleaders as bitchy sluts, we're finally asked to accept that competitive cheering can be taken seriously as a sport - even a post-Spice-Girls example of Girl Power. It's not a bad premise, promising a moderately novel and diverting blend of teen movie, sports movie and musical. But the filmmaking is relentlessly standardised, with its uniform bright lighting and TV-scaled performances, and the arch script suffers from the Dawson's Creek disease of mistaking self-consciousness for wit.
I can't remember a single genuinely clever line out of all the third-generation parodies of valley-girl slang ('How vintage'), unlikely idioms ('She's the poo, so take a big whiff')or flowery verbosity ('Bring on the tired neophytes and the dilettanti'). When the hero asks his sister why she's participating in a bikini carwash, she explains she's making money by 'letting boys ogle my goodies.' He draws back in horror: 'I didn't need to know that! That was an over-share!' The moral appears to be: if you want to succeed as a screenwriter in Hollywood, never compromise yourself by writing anything that a real person might actually say...
Published September 27, 2006
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BRING IT ON: DVD (M)
CAST: Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Jesse Bradford, Gabrielle Union, Clare Kramer
DIRECTOR: Peyton Reed
SCRIPT: Jessica Bendinger
RUNNING TIME: 98 minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES: None
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Universal
DVD RELEASE: September 20, 2006