Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

"Bring it On". You remember that one don’t you? Sure you do. Cheerleading movie made around the year 2000, Gabrielle Union, Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku and a bunch of other grown ass women in their mid to late twenties stuffed into teeny high school cheerleader outfits. Talk about a schoolgirl fetishist dream movie. Forget that. Talk about a movie for anybody, be they male or female, who enjoyed looking at the phenomenal female forms in skirts that are way too short and lots of tight spandex. The best thing was that they were all full grown. Nary a shred of guilt to be found. I mean Garbrielle Union was 28 when they made that damn movie. No, I didn’t see it at the theatre nor did I rent it, but me and my then four year old son happened to be in front of the tele when it popped on HBO or Showtime or whatever channel it was on, and now it’s a family tradition to watch ‘Bring it On’ whenever it show up on the program guide. Now ‘Bring it On’ has become a bit of a DTV franchise with this ‘Bring it On: All or Nothing’ being the second DTV sequel and a third one already on Blockbuster shelves. Though the magic from the first film is gone, I’m now a film critic with my own TV show that reviews Direct to Video movies and as such I am almost required to watch this stuff, so here goes.

Hayden Panetierre is cheerleading fool Brittany who goes to some posh suburban California high school. She’s the head cheerleader of the best squad in the state, is a virgin – which causes her footballing boyfriend Jake (Brad Warner) all kinds of pain and has a bitter rival in snooty fellow cheerleader Winnie (Mary Rylan). Tragedy strikes – at least as far as a high school girl is concerned – when Brittany’s dad loses his job and the family has to move into the ‘hood’. Distraught, Brittany promises never to cheer again.

At the new hood school the decidedly blonde Brittany doesn’t fit in so well the brown and browner people there, and manages to make an instant enemy in the new schools head cheerleader Camille as played by Beyonce’s little sister Solange. I know one day Solange Knowles-Smith would like to be known as something other than Beyonce’s little sister but for today, she is Beyonce’s little sister Solange. The two girls however find common ground as Camille needs a new cheerleader for her squad and Brittany has the skills, thus breaking her promise to her old crew never to cheer again. Brittany also makes the acquaintance of head male cheerleader Jesse (Gus Carr) sparking a little love thing.

You know the drill by now. There’s a competition, Brittany is trying to straddle the line between her old friends and her new friends by lying to both, and through a series movie induced circumstances spearheaded by the asshole cheerleader at the old school, both camps end up hating her. We have a big cheer competition, everybody finds the love and makes up, and it will ultimately come down between the old squad and the new squad in a SHOWDOWN! I’m not going to spoil it for you who wins but let’s just say that it’s the squad that can mix ‘traditional cheering’ with a street edge. Oh, and pop star Rihanna makes an appearance who physically towers over everybody in the movie. Is she like 6’4" or something?

Similar to the ‘Wild Things’ DTV sequels these ‘Get it On’ movies aren’t sequels at all but simply remakes. I mean there’s no continuation of the story, just pretty much the same story told with different people in them. Though I didn’t like this movie, at all, In many ways this version of ‘Get it On’ is better than the original in that it is truly a movie about cheerleading. I am fairly convinced that the original ‘Get it On’ is about some dudes finding the hottest women that could convince to put on cheerleading outfits and then work backwards from there. That completely worked for me. This movie is about cheerleading for real. From the jump. For starters the girls in this film are way closer to high school age than those in the original and there was lot of cheering going on. If you are a high school cheerleader I’m pretty sure you will love this movie. Yes, the story is as weak and as tired and as retread as any story I can recall in recent memory. Not a single original thought or line. And what was with all the ‘white girl’, ‘frosted flake’, ‘pixie stick’, ‘snow ball’, ‘Barbie doll’ references. I would think Brittany would have told Camille ‘Bitch, you got one more time to call me White Girl…’ but no, she seemed cool with it. They never did establish a legitimate friendship between Brittany and her new squad but then that would have cut into the heart of this flick which was the cheers. Damn there was a lot cheerleading sets in this movie. I mean a lot. I’m talking tons of peppy dancing. A lot.

Hayden Panetierre might be five feet tall standing on a phone book and probably weighs around ninety pounds but she works what little she has like a champion and I admire her for it, and I admire the whole cast because if nothing else this movie had crazy energy but I think I’ve had my share of cheerleading for a lifetime. Unless of course the original ‘Bring it On’ should happen to come on TNT or something.

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