"Bring It On: All or Nothing" (2006)
Directed By: Steve Rash
Starring: Hayden Panettiere, Solange Knowles-Smith, Gus Caar, Marcy Rylan, & Cindy Chiu
MPAA Rating: "PG-13" (for sexual humor and language)
The "Bring It On" series has never spawned deep, intellectual movies, but it has also never even attempted to do so. This series exists solely for the purpose of entertaining teens and, thus far, it has been quite successful. Yes, to some extent, the movies are silly and unbelievable, but they are highly effective in entertaining audiences and making people have a good time while watching a movie. The first film starred Kirsten Dunst and Gabrielle Union and was quite a big hit (drawing in nearly $70 million domestically on a $30 million budget). It gave birth to the obligatory sequel, which went straight-to-video and was met with grunts and sneers from most fans of the original who were disappointed with the almost completely unknown cast and the lack of connections to the original. As soon as this sequel was released, there was hardly a doubt on anyone's mind that a third movie would be made and would, following the lead of the sequel, go straight to video. And here we are. The third film, entitled "Bring It On: All or Nothing", is a vast improvement on the first sequel, yet it still fails to completely produce the spark that ignited the original. It's still fun and original, but just not as good.
Britney Allen (Panettiere) has the perfect life at her posh high school. She is a senior, the new cheerleading captain, a shoe-in for Homecoming Queen, and she has the perfect boyfriend, Brad (Jake McDorman). But, weeks before Homecoming, her father loses his job and she is forced to move to Crenshaw Heights, a rough high school populated with tougher and more violent students. Britney proves herself to the overly-confident cheerleading captain, Camille (Knowles-Smith), and joins the squad. The team, the Crenshaw Heights Warriors, begin to prepare for a competition to perform on television with pop superstar Rihanna. However, they are not the only ones preparing. Her former squad, the Pacific Vista Pirates, is also gearing up, under the command of Britney's replacement, Winnie (Rylan), a snobbish and cruel cheerleader. As both squads make a mad dash for the goal, friendships will be tested and romances will crumble (and, possibly, form). But, only one squad can take home the grand prize. This is just the type of plot one should expect when a "Bring It On" film is announced. The plots are predictable, rather shallow, and always lead to some big face-off between two arch-rival squads. They are merely excuses to string together laughs, songs, and cheerleading performances. Just ignore the ultimately pointless plot and enjoy the entertainment it brings. That is the important thing when talking about "Bring It On: All or Nothing".
"Bring It On: All or Nothing" suffers from one major problem and many minor problems. The major one is the overuse of racism and racial remarks. I understand that the biggest difference between these two squads is their race, but this was also true in the original film and, yet, there was a limited number of racial comments. It seemed as though every character was a racist snob. Another problem was the almost constant cheesy dialog. I found myself chuckling during the romantic scenes and laughing out loud during the arguments. Does the screenwriter really think this is how teens talk? Teens should be offended that this is the way they are being portrayed. The performances are okaybut nothing too special. Hayden Panettiere does a good job and definitely gives the best performance. She was just so lovable. Solange Knowles-Smith (a.k.a Beyonce's little sister) also does a good job, though I thought her character could have been developed a little more. She handles herself well, though. Gus Caar just didn't do it for me. The boy may have the ability to make girls swoon, but he doesn't handle the emotional notes as well as he should have. Marcy Rylan gave a comical performance as the villainess of the movie. She was convincing enough. Cindy Chiu was delightful.
This may eliminate some of my respectability as a movie critic, but I liked "Bring It On: All or Nothing". It wasn't smart, innovative, or original, but it was a fun movie that kept me entertained. I found myself laughing and simply having a good time. Did I know what was going to happen? Sure. Did the movie overload on cheesy dialog? Definitely. But, when the credits rolled, I didn't feel as though I had wasted my time or money, because, if nothing else, it was enjoyable. You will gain nothing of any value from this movie, except for what you gain while watching it. It's a film that doesn't stay with you after it ends. This review is very hard to conclude, as I have no strong feelings about this movie whatsoever. It's a movie so pointless and harmless that writing four paragraphs telling you why you should see it is almost just as pointless. I say this because, if you were a fan of the first two films, then you will no doubt see this regardless of what I say and, if you hated the first two films, then you most certainly will not be seeing this. My point of this review is not to sway you people, but to sway those who have not seen the first two or enjoyed them, but don't particularly remember them. To these people, I say, "See it". It's a light watch, filled with fresh faces and plenty of laughs. There is no harm in having a little fun.
Final Thought: Fun and entertaining, "Bring It On: All or Nothing" Is Pointless
Though Completely Harmless.
Overall Rating: 6/10 (B)
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