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January 2010

Fired Up

cast: Nicholas D'Agosto, Eric Christian Olsen, Sarah Roemer, Molly Sims, and John Michael Higgins

director: Will Gluck

86 minutes (12) 2009
widescreen ratio 2.35:1
Sony DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 2/10
review by Ian Sales

Fired Up!

Sigh. Two sexist jocks go to cheerleader camp, with the intent of getting laid as often as they can, and learn that women are real people too. They also learn that cheerleading is not so gay after all. And it takes them two acts to learn this. The last time I looked, it was the 21st century, and I thought we were beyond this sort of moronic macho humour. It seems I was mistaken.

Shawn Colfax (Nicholas D'Agosto) and Nick Brady (Eric Christian Olsen) are the stars of the Gerald R. Ford High School football team. Rather than go to that summer's football camp, they instead wangle their way into cheerleader camp - solely in order to have sex with as many of the cheerleaders there as possible. Unfortunately, Gerald R. Ford's cheerleader squad is the worst in the region. Fortunately, the inclusion of two manly studs - who may be slumming it as cheerleaders, but they're still football stars - is enough to greatly improve the team. Nick, meanwhile, has the hots for school cheerleader captain, Carly (Sarah Roemer), but she is already in a relationship with pre-med student, Rick (David Walton). Shawn, however, fancies Doria (Molly Sims), wife of the chief of the cheerleader camp, Coach Keith (John Michael Higgins). Except it might be the other way round. There's not much difference between Shawn and Nick - one is blond, the other is brunet.

In something of a break from stereotype, however, Nick and Shawn are actually clever. They're jocks, but they're clever. Sadly, every other male character cleaves to one or another caricature. Especially notable is Rick, Carly's boyfriend, who is so dim and sexist he belongs in a cable-TV sitcom from the 1980s. The female characters are not drawn any better. It's as if their only defining characteristic needs to be 'cheerleader', and all the baggage that label supplies. One or two are not just cheerleaders; they're also bimbos, or lesbians.

You'd hope that the third act might redeem this film. Except, why open it with Neanderthal characters in the first place? Nor should it take two acts of brainless titillation for the two leads to learn something they should have already known. It's too little, too late, and entirely unnecessary in the first place. There's no defending a film like Fired Up! It's nonsense - although it's a marginally wittier brand of nonsense that most movies of its ilk. D'Agosto and Olsen play well off each other, and one scene at cheerleader camp in which everyone loudly recites the dialogue while watching Bring It On provokes a chuckle. A few other scenes might raise a smile. But I can't honestly recommend it to anyone, and I'm slightly astonished Hollywood is still making films like this.



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