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Bring it on (Cheer fever)

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

May the best moves win.

Torrance Shipman (Kirsten Dunst) is a typical all-American high school girl. Since being been named Captain of her school's championship-winning cheerleading squad, the San Diego Toros, she's on top of the world. She's determined that nothing - not even her homework, her nagging parents or her perfect university boyfriend - get in the way of leading her squad to its sixth consecutive national title.

But the Toros have some stiff competition this time out from the Clovers, an inner-city, hip hop squad from Los Angeles. When Torrance learns that her predecessor has been stealing cheer routines for years from the rival squad, she realises that the Clovers and their Captain Isis (Garbrielle Union) are looking to even the score... and that the Toros are in big trouble. Things get even worse when Torrance finds herself falling for Cliff (Jesse Bradford), an outsider from school with whom she normally would never associate, and with the national championships only a few weeks away, the pressure is on.

Persons of interest

  • Kirsten Dunst .... Torrance Shipman
  • Eliza Dushku .... Missy Pantone
  • Jesse Bradford .... Cliff Pantone
  • Gabrielle Union .... Isis
  • Clare Kramer .... Courtney Egbert
  • Nicole Bilderback .... Whitney
  • Tsianina Joelson .... Judith Darcy
  • Rini Bell .... Kasey
  • Nathan West .... Jan
  • Huntley Ritter .... Les
  • Shamari Fears .... Lava
  • Natina Reed .... Jenelope
  • Brandi Williams .... Lafred
  • Lindsay Sloane .... Big Red
  • Bianca Kajlich .... Carver
  • Holmes Osborne .... Bruce Shipman
  • Sherry Hursey .... Christine Shipman
  • Cody McMains .... Justin Shipman
  • Jessica Bendinger .... Screenwriter
  • Peyton Reed .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Teen queen finds that truth is about what's on the inside rather than what's on the outside.

And then she actually doesn't win, which surprised me no end, even though she does end up with everyone's respect and a cute boyfriend and a trophy and lots of attention and stuff.

That's about as deep as Bring it on gets. It's as much about chicks in lycra and short skirts as it is anything else but the cheer chicks in this film don't have the lush sensuality of, for example, But I'm a cheerleader. There's an almost complete absence of vampiness - replaced with an overwhelmingly wholesome, apple pie, Bobby socks, virgin naïvety - that makes you feel like you're looking through beige coloured glasses. Even the homophobic quips from the jocks to the cheer blokes are devoid of any real passion. They call them gay not because they believe it but because they don't know what else to say.

Ironically, the only time you feel any sexual tension is when the two gay characters meet up for their seven second scene. It's ground breaking for Hollywood (happy male-to-male teenage sexuality) but it's a shame the whole movie couldn't be like this. Given the potential for teenage hormones to run rampant it's surprising that there's no pairing off.

Or maybe there isn't. Maybe someone was trying to avoid doing an American pie, or to be seen to be doing it, which is more to the point. Because of the Hollywood penchant for producing two films about the same subject at the same time - think Volcano and Dante's peak or Mission to Mars and Red planet - (How do they do that? Use of the same market interrogation techniques? Industrial espionage? Lack of originality?) there is now a backlash whence studios are trying to make their products look not like each other... a task as simple as making Windows 95 not look like Macintosh 88.

Anyhoo, Bring it on will fill in a couple of hours without forcing you to think about your hsc results, your divorce, your McJob, your ugly Christmas presents or the strange bump on your dog's nose. In fact, it won't force you to think at all, and that's why you'd want to watch it.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Features:
    • Commentary: Peyton Reed
    • Deleted scenes
    • Extended scenes
    • Make-up and wardrobe tests
    • Music video: As if - Blaque
    • Spotlight on location
  • Subtitles: English captions
  • Trailer: Theatrical

Security censorship classification

M (Sexual references)

Surveillance time

126 minutes (2:06 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

DVD retail: 25 July 2001
VHS retail: 21 January 2002

Cinema surveillance images

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