BRING IT ON – IN IT TO WIN IT (2007)
Starring Ashley Benson, Cassie Scerbo, Jennifer Tisdale, Michael Copon, Kierstin Koppel, Anniese Taylor Dendy, Noel Areizaga and Ashley Tisdale.
Screenplay by Alyson Fouse and Elena Song.
Directed by Steve Rash.
Distributed by Universal Studios Family Productions. 90 minutes. Rated PG-13.
This is the fourth chapter in the Bring It On franchise. (How is that possible? Has anyone seen the first three?) Now, only one of these films actually made it into the multiplexes. Never saw that one, nor have I caught any of the sequels. Therefore, maybe I am missing some important story thread. There must be more to the series than this.
This story — about an east coast/west coast cheerleading grudge match — appears to trying to equate cheer with gang warfare. More specifically, they are trying to make this film into a West Side Story for the aughties. In case you missed that connection, it is pounded in with the two cheerleading squads called the Jets and the Sharks.
This east-west feud (and yes, there is even a Biggie vs. Tupac reference) matches up the beautiful nice girl (Ashley Benson) from the west and the beautiful bitchy girl (Cassie Scerbo in a performance which appears to be set on automatic snap). Both girls are trying to lead their squads to win a national cheer competition.
Things become even more cutthroat when the nice girl falls for a handsome (but frankly slightly sleazy) guy she meets — and it turns out he is on the other team. Then, it seems that the bitchy girl likes him, too. As if they didn’t have enough reasons to hate each other. (Umm…, what were those again???)
Other stereotypes abound — the friends include the flamboyant gay male cheerleader who becomes everybody’s confidante, the street-smart black cheerleader, the total airhead sidekick for the bitchy one… you get the idea.
Then there is Sarah, the goth cheerleader. You can tell she is goth because she has black hair, talks about death a lot, wears a black fishnet top over her uniform and a black bikini when they go to the pool. That’s about as dark as Bring It On: In It To Win It gets.
There are a few odd subplots of superstition — the teams are cursed when they lose a lucky stick. Don’t ask.
The movie is filmed at Universal Studios Orlando Theme Park — and the movie could easily be used as a feature length advertisement for the place. You see the kids walking all through the park, riding the rides, eating the food, having the time of their life. Made me want to go.
The story is kind of silly, the dialogue is absurd, the acting is over the top and the choreography is interesting at first but eventually becomes kind of boring.
Then again, apparently what the Bring It On series is really about is hot girls (and guys) misbehaving and talking trash while in skimpy cheerleading outfits. On that level, mission accomplished.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2007 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: December 21, 2007.