Retro Review: Bring it On

Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Eliza Dushku joins Kirsten Dunst for a light look into the world of cheerleading competitions.

“Bring It On” centers on a high school where the school’s main pride lies in the 5 time National Champion, cheerleaders, “The Toros”.

When the film opens they are naming their new captain as the most successful captain in the team’s history steps down. Torrance (Kirsten Dunst) figures her peppy cheerleading boyfriend can help her when she is named captain.

As Torrance’s reign begins the cheerleading squad holds tryouts. During the tryouts they come face to face with bad girl, just moved from LA, Missy (Eliza Dushku).

Torrance sticks her neck on the line when she is thrilled by how good Missy is at gymnastics. This jostles the squad and Torrance does her very best to hold the squad together.

This isn’t the only thing that will jostle the squad as Missy reveals to Torrance that the whole team’s routine has been a direct rip off for the past five years.

The team learns that their previous captain had been stealing cheers from an inner city cheerleading squad called the Clovers. The Clovers confront Torrance and Missy after they witnesses one of their routines first hand. The confrontation results in a swear of vengeance on the Toros at the National Championships. Now it’s up to Torrance and Missy to save the pride of their school and the squad.

“Bring it On” is a very light look into the world of teens and what cheerleading is. This film’s hi-lights are the performances of Dushku and Dunst.

I like how Dushku’s character starts off as a direct rip-off as her “Faith” persona and develops into a character so full of life. This I am sure will help Dushku’s career and maybe let her play other roles as she did pre-Buffy.

As for Dunst I really liked how she pushed a lot of depth and struggle into such a transparent often cliqued character. Her portrayal was fresh and inviting which makes me wonder how much talent this 17 year old actually has inside. I will always remember her role in “Interview with the Vampire” as astounding and as she is aging her craft is becoming more and more interesting to watch.

As we enter these girls minds, who a lot of us admired as teens, we begin to see what their world is like and within the film’s focus we see what it takes to be a cheerleader and that cheerleading is quite a competitive sport.

The closest thing I can compare this feeling and focus to is a film called “Center Stage” which debuted earlier this year.

I did have a couple problems with the film. They lied mainly in the supporting cast who for me were so crammed with blatant cliques that you began to wonder could the film’s central characters really hold the film afloat. A couple examples are Dunst’s sexually confused boyfriend, and the football jocks making fun of the male cheerleaders.

I have heard this film was supposed to be rated R and it was driving for a different feel. I have to say in this case I like this tame version because I really think this film can help young girls aspire to be girls like the ones here in the film. I liked the fact that Hollywood is finally showing us some teen girls who could be role models for that generation.

(3 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer.

Note: The movie has now produced four incredibly successful direct-to-DVD sequels.

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