Jarv’s Birthday Series: Bring It On (2000)
I winced when I saw the release date of Bring It On was 22nd August 2000. How on earth did I, of all people, manage to land myself a list with not one, not two, but THREE fucking dance based films on it? How am I the person to be reviewing them, it should be Koutch for fuck’s sake. It’s not as if any of them are any good. Furthermore, What the fuck is the point of this film? Seriously? This is a meme that I’ve used before, but it’s not even worth tugging over. It wasn’t in 2000, because the Internet existed, so there’s even less point to it now in 2011. Fuck this cretinous and annoying shit. Honestly, who thought a film about cheerleading competitions where the evil (white) school has been exploiting the poor, honest (black) school and stealing from them was a good idea? Bring It On (what the fuck is “It” precisely?) is a massive waste of time stuffed full of bad performances, shit dialogue, cheerleading, Dunst, and other cardinal sins. That it’s also a massively patronising waste of time is merely coincidental.
State Cheerleading champions, The Toros are in a bit of turmoil. Their old captain, Big Red (Lindsay Sloane), is moving on to College. Nice girl Torrance (Kirsten Dunst) is elected as new Captain. No sooner than she can say “No SHE DI’ENT” tragedy strikes when an underling breaks a leg. Wisely deciding that the squad needs some experience, Torrance picks the 20-year-old Eliza Dushku’s Missy a “hard-core gymnast” to fill the void. Nevertheless, it turns out that Missy used to go to school in Compton (yeah, right) and she realises that the award-winning Toros have been
exploiting the black man stealing their award-winning cheers. For some reason Torrance and Missy attend a “Clovers” game and *Gasp* IT’S TRUE. THAT DIRTY GINGER BINT HAD BEEN FILMING THE CLOVERS’ CHEERS. Isis, Gabrielle Union, who seems to be on a one woman mission to piss me off, confronts Torrance.
Next up, there’s a boring and embarrassing show down between the two squads. Torrance’s boyfriend persuades her to hire some freelance cheerleading
flaming homo choreographer to redo their routine. Except he’s sold it to about 10 schools. Cue humiliation. Torrance ditches her boyfriend, then draws on inspiration to write a dazzling new routine that will surely take the trophy. Except the victory won’t be the same if she can’t beat the Clovers, so she persuades Daddy to cough up so the poor black kids can attend whitey’s tournament. Isis, ungratefully, doesn’t want to be complicit in white man’s guilt so turns down the dough. That’s because she’s a genius and decides to go the much less humiliating, really much less humiliating, route of begging for the cash on Oprah a local talk show. Come big tournament day, the Clovers narrowly pip the Toros into second, but Torrance has won Isis’ respect and they’ve all learnt a little something today.
So have I, and that is to never, ever watch a film about cheerleading. Particularly not one as embarrassing and patronising as this. If I have to pick a moment in it where I did put my head in my hands then I’m going for the bit where Isis turns down Whitey’s cash. Fucking hell, the whole scene is just so humiliating for everyone involved. Can’t these ungrateful girls realise that Torrance is just so fucking nice that she’s doing this out of the goodness of her heart?
To be fair to all the actresses here, they do try hard and they do all look nice in costume, but that doesn’t cut it for me when the script is as appallingly clichéd as this one. There are two key things I’m going to talk about here, but I cannot believe anyone gives this turd a pass. The first is the depiction of the Clovers, particularly Isis. She’s as if Queen Latifah had been on a crash diet and is a skin-crawlingly bad piece of mock ghetto girl writing that I feel terribly sorry for Union (and Dunst, actually) trying to make the best of dialogue like this:
Isis: You wanna make it right? Then when you go to Nationals… bring it. Don’t slack off because you feel sorry for us. That way, when we beat you, we’ll know it’s because we’re better.
Torrance Shipman: Oh, I’ll bring it. Don’t worry.
Isis: I never do.
Good. Fucking. God. It would be bad enough if this was the sole piece of terrible dialogue that she has, but it isn’t. Almost every line is agonisingly bad- check this out:
‘Brr, it’s cold in here, there must be some Toros in the atmosphere’? I know you don’t think a white girl made that shit up.
This is indefensible.
The second, and arguably worse barrel of clichés is the dance instructor “Sparky”. To being with, he may as well be called “cock jockey”, but that’s before I even get on to the humiliating, and downright evil, shit that he has to spout. The poor bastard waffles on about “jazz hands”, but isn’t shy of lecturing our girls with such constructive advice as:
I will attempt to turn your robotic routines into poetry, written with the human body. Follow me, or perish, sweater monkeys.
Or, and this is an absolute cracker:
I want you to think of what you ate today. Got it? Now cut that in half, this is called a diet, people, everyone start one today! Darcy, you should stop eating. You see, when you skip a meal, your body feeds off its fat stores. And if you skip enough, maybe your body will eat your ass!
Aren’t we meant to worry about promoting anorexia in young women? These are fucking cheerleaders- they weigh the same as an end stage smackhead twiglet, for fuck’s sake.
I can’t be fucked to go on with this any more, because you get the idea. Bring It On is an interminable and embarrassing load of shit. It’s like watching a relic from the 1950’s in that it’s lazily plotted, full of lazy caricatures of minorities and homosexuals and is just utter fucking shoddy tripe.
So, who’s to blame? Well, firstly, I’m blaming the writer. Jessica Bendinger penned this garbage, and it’s no surprise that it’s shit considering her CV also contains Sex and the City and something called Stick It, which I bet is basically a Bring It On clone. More importantly, I blame director Peyton Reed. Bring It On was the launching point for a career that includes such horrors as the atrocious Down With Love and the truly wretched The Break Up. He’s a candidate for worst current working director, and surely he must have known how offensive some of the shit in this film is. Why did he not tone down Union a bit? Or cut Sparkey’s ode to anorexia?
Overall, no, I don’t recommend this. Not even if you’re the type of monkey that got sent to hell for masturbating over Avril Lavigne videos. If you want to watch porn, then the internet is your friend, however, if you want to watch a light high-school comedy about LA Students from the late 90’s/ early 21st Century then watch Clueless. Don’t insult your intelligence with this garbage, it’s just purely hateful, useless, crap. Having said that, though, there are more difficult to endure films coming, and it isn’t as bad as either of the other two dance based movies on my list. Therefore I give it one completely useless human being out of four.
Except I have managed to find a use for him. Never mind.
Thank fuck that’s over.
Until next time,
The full list in this series:
- 1978 – The Driver (3 out of 4)
- 1979 – Life of Brian (4 out of 4)
- 1980 –Xanadu (Orangutan of Doom)
- 1981 – An American Werewolf in London (4 out of 4)
- 1982 – Class of 1984 (3 out of 4)
- 1983 – Fire and Ice (1 out of 4)
- 1984 – Cal (1/2 out of 4)
- 1985 – Teen Wolf (3 out of 4)
- 1986 –Reform School Girls (2.5 out of 4)
- 1987 – Dirty Dancing (Orangutan of Doom)
- 1988 – Married to the Mob (1 out of 4)
- 1989 – Millennium (1 out of 4)
- 1990 – Darkman (3 out of 4)
- 1991 – Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (2 out of 4)
- 1992 – Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (Orangutan of Doom)
- 1993 – Hard Target (3 out of 4)
- 1994 – Natural Born Killers (1 out of 4)
- 1995 – Desperado (3 out of 4)
- 1996 – Freeway (2.5 out of 4)
- 1997 – Mimic (2.5 out of 4)
- 1998 – Blade (3.5 out of 4)
- 1999 – Teaching Mrs. Tingle (1 out of 4)
- 2000 – Bring it On (1 out of 4)
- 2001 – Heartbreakers
- 2002 – Simone
- 2003 – My Boss’s Daughter
- 2004 – Exorcist: The beginning
- 2005 – The Cave
- 2006 – Invincible
- 2007 – War
- 2008 – Death Race
- 2009 – Der Baader Meinhof Komplex
- 2010 – Piranha 3D
- 2011 – Conan the Barbarian