While not one of the best movies of the 2000’s, Bring It On is fresh and gives us a glimpse into a world many of us would not consider looking into. That of cheerleading. This story focuses on the cheer squad of Rancho Carne High School in San Diego. The El Toros have won the national cheerleading championships for five years straight. They are so good that no one ever comes to the games to see the teams they cheer for, just them. Even the the band perks up when they come on to the field. This year, the new captain is Torrence Shipman (Kirsten Dunst), and she is confident that she will not have any problems taking the team to their sixth victory, since she will be doing the routine that was created be the former captain, Big Red (Lindsay Sloane) had put together. Big Red had lead them to quite a few consecutive national championship wins, so it would be easy enough to take what was already set for the next win. Torrence is in for a very rude awakening when she loses one of her squad members, Kasey (Rini Bell) to a pyramid accident, and she needs to be replaced. After some very interesting tryouts, and some cheer snobbery by Courtney (Clare Kramer) and Whitney (Nicole Bilderback), who were both pushing to get Whitney’s slightly slutty little sister on the Toros squad, Torrence overrules everyone and chooses an accomplished gymnast with an attitude, Missy Pantone (Eliza Dushku), as the new member. Torrence has support on her decision from two of the male cheerleaders on the squad, Jan (Nathan West) and Les (Huntley Ritter), because they see Missy as a positive asset to the squad.
While testing out the new routine Big Red had left behind at one practice, Missy recognises the rhymes, and realises that the routine was stolen from a squad in L.A. She bolts and Torrence runs after her, wanting to know why. Missy takes her to a pep rally at East Compton High School, where she sees the East Compton Clovers doing the polished routine, and she realises that Big Red has been scamming the squad for years, using stolen cheers from the Clovers. As Missy and Torrence are leaving, the Clover cheerleaders confront them, asking them to hand over the tape. The Clover’s captain, Isis (Gabrielle Union), is no doubt descended from proud Nubian warriors, and she doesn’t take crap from any one. She has had it with seeing her squad’s routines ending up in national championships being performed by the El Toros. Her girls, Lava (Shamari Fears), Jenelope (Natina Reed), and Lafred (Brandi Williams), are backing her 100%, and now that the Clovers have a shot at the going to the nationals, Torrence needs to come up with something fresh and new, and her time is very limited. Torrence goes to some desperate measures that end up with disastrous results, and is about at her wit’s end. Add her odd family, obnoxious little brother, and a possible new relationship with Missy’s brother, Cliff (Jesse Bradford), and a boyfriend, Aaron (Richard Hillman) who really does not believe in her, and is letting their relationship slide, then you’ve got the world of Bring It On.
The dance numbers are amazing, and the music rocks, eclectic and strong. This movie is just fun, and high energy, and while it was never any kind of award contender, it is upbeat, funny, and entertaining, and worth watching more than once. It also was the beginning of a franchise that has brought on four sequels, so they must be doing something right. Maybe cheer squads are more of a mystery to us than we think they are, because we do not seem to tire of them. While some of the characters on this movie seemed like the stereotypical girls we associate cheering with, many of them were not, which makes the movie that much more appealing. The one problem I did see was that they were speaking of the nationals being in February, which was only “three weeks” away, yet they were cheering during a football game when the East Compton girls came to confront them for a second time. Three months seems a little more realistic, but if the El Toros were really that bad of a team, they never would have made it to November play-off season to be cheered for. The scriptwriters did need to do a little more fact checking in that aspect, but I’m not going to fuss much over that. I’m pretty sure there are plenty of people out there that already have, and much more, for less reasons.
I give this film a Musing review of