A cheerity case. Not!
Bring It On
Review by Ross Anthony

Well, surprisingly, there are a lot of things to like about this film. I say "surprisingly" because I am not a member of the 14-year-old female, apparent-target audience and yet, I must admit - I had a good time!

Here's why: great pace, good direction (all the actors look good), great acting by Dunst (as Bring It On always), with costars also hoppin', funny script, some nice cheer action (You know, cheer action is quite impressive in slow mo. The aerial stuff is phenomenal, would have liked more.), abrasively enjoyable toothbrushing sequence (like none other I've seen - have I seen one?), Jesse Bradford's guitar reply to a surprise visit by Dunst, and his goofy song for her, "I can't stand your cheerleading squad, but I like your pom poms."

It's pretty much the high school team formula with boyfriend off at college premise that makes a few (perhaps not breakthrough fresh), but nonetheless respectable twists. Dunst plays the new cheerleading captain whose worst nightmare comes true - her squad's routines aren't all original! She teams up with new rocker from the city to keep the crew psyched and ready for the cheer championships in Florida.

Here are a couple of the tongue-in-cheek lines that kept this audience smiling and laughing:

Bradford encouraging his punkster sister to go for the cheer thing, "You get to yell like you care about something."

Dunst, "This is not a democracy - it's a cheerocracy." Upset members respond, "And you're not a cheerleader you're a cheertator!"

Also done nicely, not unlike the way cheerleaders might be thought to play second fiddle to Bring It Onfootball teams, in this film these roles are reversed; the jocks are almost a second thought - impotent, bullies at best.

Improvements? Sure, though the militant-cheerographer bit was a good idea and made this crowd laugh, I felt a better cast actor could have really rocked the place. Also, Eliza Dushku is introduced into the group as a leather-wearing/gymnast, sadly, we never see her talents in the competition. A lull at half-time stunts the awesome momentum created from the start. And lastly, the film might have benefited from deeper relationships among the characters (most are playful), instead the mood is kept light from beginning to end, save for an almost heartfelt moment between Dunst and rival captain of the Compton team, Gabrielle Union.

Overall, Hurrah for this little film, it's a good time. A strong B+.

  • Bring It On. Copyright © 2000. Rated PG-13
  • Starring Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Jesse Bradford, Gabrielle Union, Clare Kramer, Nicole Bilderback, Tsianina Joelson, Rini Bell, Natan West, Huntley Ritter, Shamari Fears & Natina Reed & Brandi Williams (of Blaque), Richard Hillman, Lindsay Sloane, Ian Roberts.
  • Directed by Peyton Reed.
  • Written by Jessica Bendinger.
  • Produced by Marc Abraham, Thomas A. Bliss, John Ketcham at Universal/Beacon.


Copyright © 2000. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:19:36 PDT