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copyright ©1999-2000

flick pick | Bring it On 2000
Directed by: Peyton Reed
Written by: Jessica Bendinger
Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Jesse Bradford, Gabrielle Union
Language: English
Look for it at the video store under:
comedy, new release
Watch it when you’re in the mood
something: fluffy
The verdict: ½ / 5 the rating system explained
[on DVD, more like 3½ stars, since the extras are excellent and bountiful] 

Plot synopsis Sweet Torrance Shipman [Dunst] is thrilled when she’s chosen captain of the championship-winning Rancho Carne High Toros cheerleading squad. Their departing captain, the ruthless terror Big Red, has already given the team an amazing routine that’s guaranteed to secure the squad yet another win at nationals. But when new cheerleader Missy Pantone [Dushku] – a snarly, reluctant recruit who makes it clear that she’s only there because the school lacks a gymnastics team – sees the squad practicing, she angrily informs Torrance that the "original" routines for which the squad is renowned have, in fact, been stolen. To prove it, Missy takes Torrance to East Compton, where upon watching the East Compton Clovers perform the "Toros’" routine – only with ten times more flair – Torrance’s little bubble of pride goes pop. Clovers’ captain Isis [Union] informs Torrance that this year, she’s not going to let a bunch of rich white girls claim the Clover’s work as their own because the Clovers, cash-strapped though they are, plan to do whatever it takes to bring their team to nationals. It’s up to Torrance now to bring her team together with a brand-new routine that’s all their own, and salvage the squad’s reputation.

Review Bring It On is a dumb little movie that has no business being as enjoyable to watch as it is. Yeah, there’s an attempt at giving the film some depth by making a point of how white culture has made a long history of stealing from black culture while claiming it as its own, but there’s too little of the Clovers’ story portrayed for it to really work as a statement. And yes, it’s hard not to be impressed by the athleticism of competition-level cheerleading, which so often gets confused with the sort of rah-rah, wiggle-your-butt, posturing that generally passes for high school cheerleading. But the movie unabashedly revels in fluffitude – from the locker-room scene, in which scantily-clad cheerleaders whip off such deep observations as "She puts the ‘whore’ in horrible," to the obligatory cheerleaders-in-bikinis car wash, to the too-pat way in which the rebel Missy character [played by the ultra-cool Eliza Dushku] succumbs to the aesthetic conformity that cheerleading requires. Really, this movie is supremely dumb. But it’s impossible not to be sucked in by the peppy pacing, and moreover, charmed by Kirsten Dunst, who may be the only actress in Hollywood who can make the girl you always hated growing up – vapid, too nice to be real, perfectly pretty in that way that all the popular girls are pretty in high school – seem like a likable character. Bring it On is nowhere near the same league as Election or Rushmore, or even Clueless or 10 Things I Hate About You, but in spite of itself, it’s pretty damn fun. — reviewed by Yee-Fan Sun 

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