[Happy 20th Birthday!] Bring It On (2000)

Director: Peyton Reed

Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku, Jesse Bradford, Gabrielle Union

Screenplay: Jessica Bendinger

98 mins. Rated PG-13.

 

Can you believe it’s been 20 years since Bring It On came out? Well, I can, because this is the first time I’ve ever seen it. Let’s take a look back at Peyton Reed’s (Ant-Man, Yes Man) cheerleading film.

Torrance Shipman (Kirsten Dunst, Spider-Man, TV’s On Becoming a God in Central Florida) has just been selected to be the new Team Captain for the Toros cheerleading squad. When Torrance tries to add the new girl, Missy (Eliza Dushku, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, The Saint) to the squad, she learns that her team has been using stolen moves and routines from other people for years. Torrance is forced to reinvent the squad in order to win without stealing, but she soon finds that her team is not as willing to adapt to the new way of doing things.

As I stated earlier, this was the first time I watched this film, and when I spoke with other people who had seen this film back in 2000, I learned that I seem to be in the minority. This is a bad movie. I did not find much to like about it. The opening of this film was awful. I didn’t care much for Peyton Reed’s directing. I wasn’t impressed with the acting. I loathe the screenplay. I’m sorry, but I have to speak my thoughts. This was a bad movie.

The level of cheese that 20 years will add to some pop cultural films will help, and I will say, the cheesiness did help with that. I’m a big fan of Eliza Dushku, specifically from the work she did back in the early aughts, and I enjoyed the character of Missy and what she brings to the team. I feel like the film would be more enjoyable from her perspective primarily with Torrance as a secondary supporting lead.

From a purely technical perspective, the film is technically sound, but it lacks any technical flair. The cinematography is fine, but not flashy. The editing is fine, but the pacing is poor. The music was fine, but it isn’t memorable, even for an older film. There just isn’t anything that I loved about this film.

What it boils down to here is that I really enjoyed Kirsten Dunst and Eliza Dushku as the leads, but the film would work much better with the narrative focused on Dushku’s Missy. I like the way the narrative played out near the end. Outside of that, the film just doesn’t work for me. I’m very glad that many people love this movie, and it’s true. A lot of people love it. I am not one of those people. If you are, I’m happy for you, but it didn’t work for me. Bring It On, for me, simply doesn’t work.

 

2/5

-Kyle A. Goethe

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