Bring it On follows the Rancho Carne High School Cheerleading Team, the Toros, as they continue their six year run at the title of National Cheerleading Champions. New Captain Torrance Shipman (Kirsten Dunst) looks set to lead the team to another win until it’s discovered that their perfectly rehearsed routine was stolen by the former captain from an inner-city cheer squad called the Clovers. No-one had noticed because the Clovers have never been able to afford to compete. Torrance has her work cut out for her to rebuild the reputation of the Toro Squad and begins by enlisting the help of new student Missy (Eliza Dushku) who becomes her ally in the fight to maintain control of the cheer-team. They falter at first by hiring a Professional Cheer Choreographer, the hilarious Sparky Polastri (played by Ian Roberts), who belittles, taunts and in the end humiliates them in front of the entire cheer community.
This miscalculation on Torrance’s part leaves her again without the support of most of her squad, and Cheerleaders Courtney and Whitney planning a takeover.
This is not the end of Torrance’s problems however - she is trying to handle her cheerleader boyfriend who’s gone off to college and begun to ignore her as she starts to fall for Missy’s brother Cliff (Jesse Bradford) who hates everything cheery.
We watch to see if the Toros can overcome their internal cheer-rivalries and come up with a new routine good enough to regain their place at the National Cheeroffs, whether the Clovers will find the money to finally compete at the competition themselves and earn the title they deserve and whether Torrance will be able to choose between her cheery boyfriend and the non-cheery new boy.
Why I love this film
It’s funny, cheeky (occasionally bordering on filthy) and an absolute ball to watch. Great characters, great dialogue, lots of laughs. It knows what it is and doesn’t take itself too seriously.
- Torrance Shipman: “You know, mothers have killed to get their daughters on squads.”
- Christine Shipman: “That mother didn't kill anybody. She hired a hit man.”
- Sparky: “I am a choreographer. That's what I do. You are cheerleaders. Cheerleaders are dancers who have gone retarded. What you do is a tiny, pathetic subset of dancing. I will attempt to turn your robotic routines into poetry, written with the human body. Follow me, or perish, sweater monkeys.”; and, of course,
- “Spirit Fingers!”
The routines are also great to watch and well shot and performed as is the whole film. There’s never a dull moment in this cheer-fest.
Totally fun, a hearty 5 Spirit Fingers out of 5
Marisa Martin, May 2011