Bring It On

Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Jesse Bradford)

It’s cute; it’s fun, it’s a cheerleading movie with something to cheer about. It’s got a fairly decent, if lightweight story, nicely realized characters; the actors are good and it zips along with good humor and dialogue.

Kirsten Dunst does extremely well as Torrance Shipman the exuberant new captain of San Diego’s Rancho Carne High Toros, a winning cheerleading squad looking to snag a national championship trophy for the sixth year in a row. They’re that good. It’s just the sniping, losing football team that can’t get it through their thick heads that everyone comes to see the cheerleaders and not them when they play and promptly lose each and every game.

Torrance signs up a hot new team member, Missy Pantone (Eliza Dushku) who comes sporting a tough attitude and eye-popping gymnastic skills. She also has a rather cool brother named Cliff (the charming Jesse Bradford) who can’t get enough of Torrance’s sunny disposition. But it’s through Missy that Torrance gets some bad news – that the Toros former captain had been stealing routines from a Compton team called the Clovers. With little time left before the finals, Torrance and the team must decide if they’ll take the moral high ground and develop all new routines or confront and out jump and out cheer the angry Clovers using the stolen routines.

In the meantime, Torrance has to contend with a bad luck boyfriend and two back-stabbing team members before she comes into her own as captain. There are lots of snazzy cheerleading moves to keep up the energy from both the Toros and Clovers and Torrance’s growing relationship with Cliff is pleasantly portrayed.

Lotta says
: Bring It On is upbeat and fun. Directed by Peyton Reed; Jessica Bendinger is the Screenwriter. Also features Gabrielle Union as Clover captain Isis, Clare Kramer as Courtney, Nicole Bilderback as Whitney, Tsianina Joelson as Darcy.

Reviewed 2/20/01