After a run-in with the law, Haley Graham (Missy Peregrym) is forced to return to the world from which she fled some years ago. Enrolled in an elite gymnastics program run by the legendary Burt Vickerman (Jeff Bridges), Haley's rebellious attitude gives way to something that just might be called team spirit.
Haley Graham is a former gymnast-turned-juvenile delinquent who, after one too many run-ins with the law, is forced to enroll at an elite gymnastics academy, the VGA in Houston, Texas which is run by the legendary Olympic gymnast Burt Vickerman. But the rebellious Haley is not welcomed into the academy by the other teenage gymnasts who despise her for walking out on her Junior Olympic team years earlier during a competition which cost them the gold medal. But Haley is not a docile person either and makes every effort to provoke conflicts with the other girls. Vickerman takes it upon himself to coach Haley in his own way to make her regain her self respect for the VGA's coming spot on the Gymnastic Nationals. Written by
The story line dictates that Hayley has been inactive in gymnastics for two years. Based on the results of her leaving Worlds, one would believe that walking out of the IG Classic would yield the same result, disqualification. Without an official result in a competition for two years, she is somehow qualified for the National Championships at the end of the film. However, USAG allows a gymnast to petition their way into a meet if they are for some reason unable to finish the qualifying meet. They use the score from the last FULL USAG Sanctioned meet that the gymnast competed in. See more »
Yep! You read that right. And, I enjoyed it, each and every time.
I never heard of Missy Peregrym, or Vanessa Lengies, before this. But, I have a strong feeling they will be getting a whole lot more work, from now on.
Missy plays Haley "the Cracker" Graham. A rebellious teenage gymnast who walked out on the sport a few years earlier. After learning that her then-coach (played by John Kapelos, ex-FOREVER KNIGHT) was apparently involved with her mother on a less-than-professional basis!
She is court-ordered to join a gym owned by Burt Vickerman (Jeff Bridges). A former male gymnast with a Bela Karoly-like reputation for injured students. He and Haley gradually learn to grudgingly respect each other. Enough to take their four-girl team to another pre-Olympic world championship.
Now, this movie might seem like a fluff piece, based on the way the trailers are edited. But, if you sit through it, you realize that it cooks up a lot of valid food-for-thought. Why do real-life sport judges go for consistency over innovation? Did the gymnast, for whom the Sukahara Move is named, get initially penalized for what he or she pioneered? Don't they remember what Ralph Waldo Emerson said about foolish consistencies and little minds?
I think the next time real-life judges act less-than-impartial (which seems to be the rule, rather than the exception), at a real-life gymnastics tournament, the real-life female gymnasts should instigate a little civil disobedience. After all: over-paid footballers, baseballers, and hockey players have gone on strike. And, eventually, been forgiven for it. Why not under-appreciated female gymnasts, who (because they are required to be "amateurs") don't enjoy seasonal salaries of seven or more figures?
Thanks for letting me vent.
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