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There's no reason to get 'Fired Up' about this one

POSTED: February 25, 2009 3:44 p.m.
/Sony Pictures

Nicholas D'Agosto, left, and Eric Christian Olsen let their libidos take them to cheerleading camp in the lackluster "Fired Up!"

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This one time, at cheerleader camp, two stud football players pretend to become cheerleaders so they can score with as many girls as possible.

That’s a nearly complete synopsis of “Fired Up!” Not much else happens, and nothing more substantial lurks beneath the surface.
This is a pretty bad movie. Let’s just get that out of the way.

I could pick it apart like a snobby vulture until nothing but skin and bones are left. But I won’t do that for a very simple reason: “Fired Up!”, despite the exclamation in the title, isn’t worthy of any sort of passion, positive or negative. I can’t imagine anyone loving or hating this movie.

It is a quintessential February release: a throw-away for the studio and an opportunity for unknowns and little-knowns to gain a bit of exposure.

Sadly, it’s also typical of what movies for teens have become. All the characters are pretty and shallow and provide eye candy that will help sell the soundtrack, which is much more memorable than the movie itself.

Our two jocks, Shawn (Nicholas D’Agosto) and Nick (Eric Christian Olsen), live out a teen male fantasy as gorgeous and vacant girls fall for the lamest pickup ploys imaginable. The dialogue makes “Porky’s” seem urbane. At one point, Nick promises Shawn that at the camp they will have “300 hotties on our biscuits.”

Of course, we wouldn’t have a movie if these two revolting libido cases didn’t eventually develop a conscience. Shawn falls for head cheerleader Carly (Sarah Roemer), while Nick attempts to romance camp leader Diora (Molly Sims). Think “Wedding Crashers” goes to cheerleader camp.

This movie isn’t for me, and if you’re mature and literate enough to be reading a newspaper, it probably isn’t for you, either.

Nor does it offer much to teenage girls, unless they are big fans of condescension. There is barely any cheerleading in this cheerleader movie, and I hope to heaven teen girls don’t identify with the airhead girls onscreen.

This one is strictly for teen boys, who will all be glad to know that one subplot is built around a closet lesbian, two other girls kiss, a group of cheerleaders swim in their underwear and we see countless close-ups of lycra stretched over body parts.

Not that “Fired Up!” doesn’t have any bright spots.

They manage to mine the “guys in girl world” scenario for a few laughs (I mean that literally: I laughed exactly three times).

They confront the “Bring It On” comparisons head on by showing the campers gathering for an outdoor viewing of that masterpiece of cheer theater. The campers all say the lines along with the movie like it’s the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” of the spirit finger subculture.

This also marks the first pop culture reference to “Hamlet 2.” While I laughed when a character in this movie quoted “Rock Me, Sexy Jesus,” the fact that “Fired Up!” quotes a 2008 movie should tell you something about its attention span.

“Fired Up!” apparently only cost around $10 million to make, which is dirt cheap for a Hollywood movie. In my opinion, it was worth every penny.

At this point, I’d like to remind you that most of the Oscar movies are still playing in the area. You might want to keep that in mind should you venture to the theater this week.

Jeff Marker is a media studies professor at Gainesville State College.



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