Bring It On: In It to Win It

When the original Bring It On came out on video, I begrudgingly watched it with my wife. However, after seeing it, I found that I kinda liked it – and it wasn’t just because I was watching hot chicks bounce around in cheerleader uniforms.

Before I knew it, the movie spawned so many direct-to-DVD sequels that it’s rivaling the Leprechaun franchise. Now the fourth movie in the series is out – Bring It On: In It to Win It. Aside from being the movie that uses “It” in its title more times than ever should be necessary, it’s really only worth watching to see the hot chicks bounce around in cheerleader uniforms.

The story follows two cheer teams from either coast as they fight to win the Cheer Camp Championship, with the prize being the U.S. representatives on a world tour. The captains of the respective teams have been rivals for years, and the not-so-subtle names of their squads are the Jets and the Sharks. When the Spirit Stick (remember this thing from the first film?) is lost, the Sharks are cursed, and they soon pass the curse to the Jets. Eventually, they must come together to form an east/west coast squad called (no kidding) the Shets for a chance to win the championship.

Like perky sports films like Stick It and Step Up, this movie makes cheerleading out to be more than it really is. They talk about the importance of representing the U.S. in the world, but I really doubt their actions are going to hurt the image of cheerleading in Somalia.

Ultimately, this film is a joke with bizarre moments of spontaneous coordinated choreography oh-so-clever references to West Side Story. It’s too bad no one died at the end like that movie.

Dialogue in this movie is like nails on a chalk board. It’s as if a dorky screenwriter went online to an urban dictionary and found every crappy, sleazy slang phrase that the kids of today are supposedly saying. In addition to phrases like “pantydropper,” “boo” and “J to the E to the T to the S,” the dialogue is also littered with every terrible cheerleading pun imaginable, like “cheer-tastic,” “cheer-rumble” and “cheer-cest.”

This PG-13 film is released under the Universal Studios Family Productions banner, which isn’t bad per se. However, that gives the impression this is a family film. And while I’m not one of those people who only sees family films, I expect something I’d recommend to a family. Bring It On: In It to Win It isn’t loaded with sex references, but in one scene a cheerleader tells a guy who’s going for the other girl that he’s missing out because she’s double-jointed.

Not to be a prude, but this is not for the family audience, unless you’re playing it on ABC Family after the somewhat edgier shows like Kyle XY.

The DVD has several special features, but aside from the deleted scenes and a behind-the-scenes documentary, the rest are cheerleading instructions with Tony G, who I’m sure is good at choreography, but he comes across as a lame poser by talking too hip and ending each segment with a guttural, “Peace!”

Grade: C-

The Upside: Hot chicks in cheerleading outfits.

The Downside: One of the most ridiculous and awful scripts of the year.

On the Side: Although the filmmakers pat themselves on the back for shooting at Universal Studios Florida, but they forgot that the first film was also shot there.

Kevin Carr crawled from the primordial ooze in the early 1970s. He grew up watching movies to the point of irritation for his friends and was a font of useless movie knowledge until he decided to put that knowledge to good use. Now, Kevin is a nationally syndicated critic, heard on dozens of radio stations around the country, and his reviews appear in a variety of online outlets. Kevin is also a proud member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA).

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