Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, partial nudity, language and some teen partying, 90 minutes
Hard to get "Fired Up" about this one
It's the weekend before the Oscars, and what does Hollywood throw at us? A Madea movie and a cheerleading movie - makes you thankful - even fired up - for all the great movies nominated this year for Academy Awards. You won't get excited about "Fired Up," a lame, cheap PG-13 cross between "Bring It On" and "American Pie" that may land itself a few awards next year - Razzie's (for worst movie) maybe, but definitely not Oscars. There are a few amusing laughs, thanks to a few supporting players that swing in and out of this otherwise forgettable film.
Shawn Colfax (Nicholas D'Agosto) and Nick Brady (Eric Christian Olsen), the stars of the Gerald R. Ford High School (one amusing touch) football team, are dreading the prospect of another summer at football camp with the dudes. When the two hatch a scheme for them to join their schools cheerleaders at cheer camp instead, they find themselves awash in a sea of gorgeous young women. The guys are having an awesome time until Shawn falls for Carly (Sarah Roemer), the beautiful but suspicious head cheerleader who has a douche-bag of an older college boyfriend, Dr. Rick (David Walton). The boys must come up with some surprising last-minute new moves to prove their intentions and help the team before the all-important cheer competition finals.
"Fired Up," which initials spell out "FU" (an amusing touch until you realize the joke is on you) brings out the worst in lame comedies. For one, an altogether ludicously predictable premise (these girls go to a big cheerleading meet without, like, a coach); two, this is has been done before - brought-en you might say; three, all the actors playing teens hardly look the part (D'Agosto is nearly 29, Olsen is 31, even Roemer is 25), something that's unwisely been done since the days of the original "Grease."
"Fired Up's" best moments are fleeting ones provided by a few amusing supporting players: "Aliens in America's" Ahdhir Kalyan as a flamboyant cheermate; Juliette Goglia as the much-smarter younger sister, and especially Christopher Guest alum John Michael Higgins, who all but steals the show as a creepily energetic cheer master ("prohibado" he warns sternly against using a cheer). Another humorous touch: all the cheerleaders watch and quote every word of "Bring It On" before the big competition (at least it gives a nod to what it's blatantly ripping off).
By the time it peters out at the end, everything in "Fired Up" grows very tiresome (and you'll want to tell the chatty Olsen to shut up). I wanted to like "Fired Up" and it was slightly more amusing than I thought, but you may want to "be aggressive" and get down to the theater to see it fast, it may be gone quicker than you can say "for-for-get-able." You're better off watching the Oscars this weekend.