It’s hard to believe that since the original Bring it On hit theaters in 2001 that we’ve been treated to three more films in the series. With this fourth installment, Bring It On: In It to Win It introduces us to two new teams with lifelong rivalries between the two, offering up tons of hilarious outbursts between the two teams and some great new cheer offs between the East Coast Jets and West Coast Sharks.
While the East Coast Jets have ruled the Cheer Camp Championships the past few years, the West Coast Sharks have been nipping at their heels every step along the way. With this newest competition between the two, our captain of the Sharks finds herself falling in love with one of the male cheerleaders of the Jets, causing tension among the ranks of both squads. When the two teams attempt to have a cheer off at the spur of the moment, a sudden appearance of a flashlight causes the two teams to come toppling down from their formations, losing members in the process and forcing them both to be disqualified from the competition from a lack of members. Knowing that they cannot compete against the other teams any other way, the two rival’s pair up to form the deadliest team at the Cheer Camp Championship: the Shets.
There are so many awesome things about this film I can’t even begin to count them. Being huge fans of all of the past films, although not so much of the Kirsten Dunst original, I was excited to sit down and watch this latest installment. I’m really glad these films have been coming out with a faster release rate (it took almost three years for the first one to be sequeled!) and I’m hoping for a fifth one next year. It’s obvious these films must be doing extremely well to keep seeing them on the shelves—I just hope this one does as well as the past ones.
The romance between Penn (Michael Copon) and Carson (Ashley Benson) was so tense that I could barely stand watching it at times. When Chelsea (Jennifer Tisdale) started to come onto Penn after she saw Carson was interested, I got so mad that I nearly shut if off! It’s a really well done plot between the two that was only strengthened by the rivalry between the two teams. Not to mention that there were a ton of great jokes along the way (from both teams really!)
Also really well done were the cheers in the film! The choreography was just…omg, it was amazing! I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen when it started. I really thought it was just such so well done and remarkably laid out that I wanted to jump out of my seat and sta…oh screw it. I can’t do this anymore. The film was horrible, all right? I really couldn’t stand any of it. I got through it in one sitting and I never want to touch it again.
The fact of the matter is, the above is all a lie. I did enjoy the original Bring it On to some extent and I’ve never seen any of the sequels. This latest one is just filled to the brim with teenage clichés and irked me from start to finish. Everyone fit into their stereotypical role like a glove and the inclusion of a goth Hot Topic shopping teenager in the cheerleading squad because it’s “really dark” is just enough to drive me up the wall. I’m well aware of what the current trend in high schools are and the text messaging and the goth and all of that and I’m really just…so damn tired of hearing about it, watching a movie packed with it and a dozen other phrases from ten years ago that somehow made it into such a “hip” movie as this was just extremely annoying.
I fully get that I’m nowhere in the target audience for this film. I’m neither female nor in my teens and there’s no way I could accurately review this movie in any way. But knowing what the current atmosphere is like in high schools, whether it’s from the news or what you read on the internet, it’s obvious that this film is written in such a way that even teenagers today would roll their eyes at it. On top of that the two lead characters seem to have a little bit too much sexual tension going on and some of the dialogue is extremely questionable—even the shows target audience really doesn’t need to hear what’s being said here, especially with the recent outburst of news from the Spears family camp.
As if it wasn’t obvious, Skip this film. I don’t even feel right calling it a film—it’s more a big, dumb clip show with advertisements for the Universal Studios theme park.
I don’t know what ticks me off more about this film: the fact I had to watch it or that it got better packaging treatment from Universal Home Video than The Bourne Ultimatum. Arriving in a single amaray DVD case with an embossed slipcover with some foil reflection, inside we have advertisements for HD-DVD as well as Universal Orlando resort. And…what’s this? There’s actual disc art? Yes, Universal doesn’t stick to the generic nothing-but-black-text coating that these DVDs have had for so long and instead coats this disc in red. Not even Ultimatum had this—a small thing to get upset about, but still. Menus are static with music over them and the video and audio transfer is fine. It’s clean and clear and the dialogue and music (ugh) comes through loud and clear.
Special features range from six deleted scenes (most of which seem to be extended sequences from the film, rather than deleted) to “Lights, Camera, Bring It!”, which is a typical making-of documentary. Lots of back patting and comparing the film to West Side Story (hold your gasps, please. I did enough of that for all of you who are reading this) and four cheerleading documentaries with cheer instructor/coordinator Tony G (“East Coast Proper”, “West Coast Flair”, “The Rumble with Tony G” and “Learn How to Cheer with Tony G”). I will freely admit that the cheers were just about the only entertaining thing about the film—they obviously take a lot of choreography and they did entertain.
Like the film, this release can be Skipped. I’ve nothing to recommend about this film. It’s not in my age group (or gender) and for those that are in the age group…there are better things to watch.
Bring It On: In it to Win It is now available on DVD.