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Bring It On: Worldwide #Cheersmack
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Blu-ray Disc Released: 8/29/2017
All Ratings out of
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 8/29/2017
In 2000, I was on a business trip in a small town. I didn't feel like sitting around the hotel room, so I decided to go to the movies. The only thing playing that I hadn't seen was something called Bring It On. I decided to give it a shot, hoping that it wouldn't look pervy that an adult male was seeing the film by himself. I'd expected a stupid teen comedy, but what I found was a movie that had clever comedy, engaging characters, and a determination that cheerleading be taken seriously. (I wasn't surprised that I enjoyed the film when I later learned that the director had attended The University of North Carolina.) Despite the fact that I really liked Bring It On, I never checked out any of the sequels. But, with the release of the insanely titled Bring It On: Worldwide #Cheersmack, I decided to jump back into the cheer world.
Destiny (Christine Prosperi) is the leader of the Rebels, a cheerleading team which has won major awards in the past. While performing at a pubic event (of some sort), the Rebels' video screens are hijacked by The Truth, a group of masked cheerleaders who claim that they are better than the Rebels and will put an end to that team's dominance. This challenge goes viral and Destiny is shocked that she and her team have been "cheersmacked". (What?!) Determined to put an end to this humiliation, Destiny decides to accept The Truth's dare, and she recruits some male street dancers to join the team in order to provide a fresh vibe. But, Destiny soon finds her own team questioning her judgment, which puts her role as leader in jeopardy.
I don't think that anyone would claim that Bring It On has a complex script or that it's filled with twists and turns, but it does a fine job of laying out its story and introducing the characters. By comparison, Bring It On: Worldwide #Cheersmack makes Bring It On look like Fight Club, as it presents us with a story that is so wafer thin that it's barely there. For starters, there is no character development or introduction to the story here. The movie simply starts and it acts as if we are supposed to know who Destiny and the Rebels are. The members of the Rebels don't appear to be in school. Are they are a competition-only team? Who paid for their elaborate practice area? For that matter, who paid for anything here? Is that huge domicile where Destiny lives a house? Is it a dorm? How long have the Rebels been around? What kinds of competitions have they won? How did the Cheer Goddess (Vivica A. Fox) get her own webshow. What is Vivica A. Fox doing in this movie? There are so many unanswered questions here. Are they integral to the plot? Yes, they are. By not knowing what is happening here, the viewer is kept at arm's length, and it's difficult to care about any of the film's events.
Not that Bring It On: Worldwide #Cheersmack gives us much to care about in the first place. We simply watch Destiny go from scene to scene, as she's either pouting at practice, or pouting in the street, or pouting at home, or drawing inspiration from graffiti. (Hey, I'm just reporting what I saw. I didn't write the movie.) There's no real narrative flow, but the movie seems determined to cover some prerequisite bases -- we see cheerleading routines, we see street dancing, Destiny flirts with a boy (Jordan Rodrigues), and the finale features a cheer competition. In order to incorporate the "Worldwide" section of the film's gangly title and to pad the running time, we see that cheerleading squads from around the globe also want to challenge the Rebels, and the movie shows us their routines. Keep in mind that we have no idea who these squads are, but it shows them nonetheless.
In the end, Bring It On: Worldwide #Cheersmack is the epitome of a direct-to-video sequel -- it takes some ideas from the original movie, sprinkles in unknown actors, and hopes for the best. And yet, the movie can't seem to muster a fraction of the charm seen in Bring It On. Instead, we get an awkward takes on the dialogue from Pitch Perfect, as the characters weave "cheer" and "fem" into every word, and it's simply cringe-worthy. It could be argued that I'm not the target audience for this film, but even those who are simply tuning in to see the acrobatic routines will be stymied by the lazy writing and questionable acting here. Speaking of questions, I want to know when this movie was shot, as a first-generation PlayStation 3 and what looks like a VCR are prominently displayed in the den of a mansion. #SkipIt.
Bring It On: Worldwide #Cheersmack made me want to watch Fired Up! again on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of Universal Studios Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 1.78:1 and the Disc contains and AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 34 Mbps. The image is very sharp and clear, showing no noticeable grain and no defects from the source materials. The colors look fantastic, as this is a very colorful movie and the reds, blues, and pastel tones really shine here, and the image is never overly dark or bright.
The level of detail is good and the image is never soft. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 4.5 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The music featured during the cheer routines provides impressive bass effects. The opening sequence brings us crowd noises in the rear speakers and some of the stereo effects alert us to audio from off-screen.
The Bring It On: Worldwide #Cheersmack Blu-ray Disc contains a few extra features. "Around the World: Building the Squads" (4 minutes) takes us on set to see the actors and background cheerleaders learning all of their moves. Director Robert Adetuyi and Choreographer Tony Gonzalez describe the work which went into the routines. "A New Routine" (6 minutes) is pretty basic "making of" which focuses on the story and characters. There is also a discussion of the production and how the film was shot. "The Look of Bring It On: Worldwide" (3 minutes) examines the use of color and "street" imagery in the film, as well as the wardrobe. Finally, we get a 1-minute GAG REEL.
Review Copyright 2017 by Mike Long