DVD/Blu-ray Reviews

Fired Up! - DVD Review


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</script></div>{/googleAds}A movie about two jocks that forego summer football camp to attend a cheerleading camp with 300 co-eds can get its humor from only one place: the sexual situations and vulgar sight gags that are sure to follow. The formula has worked over and over again in numerous teen-raunch films from American Pie to Porky's and in nearly everything from the master of the genre, Judd Apatow. They're funny for sure, but the problem with Fired Up! is that it can't exploit its intended subject matter with a PG-13 MPAA rating. The film's producers conceived the idea from a very similar real-life situation they found themselves in during their own high school years. A funny story to tell for sure, but it just doesn't make a good PG-13 movie. Imagine making a biopic about Jeffrey Dahmer that skims over the murderous-cannibalistic rampage part. That just wouldn't work, and it's not effective here either.

What does work though is the performance of the two male leads, Nicholas D'Agosto and Eric Christian Olsen who are Shawn and Nick respectively. They have a great comedic rapport and deliver their sex-tinged rapid-fire lines with the best of them. They might even be able to hold their own amongst Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn's best in the right vehicle. They're definitely the best things going for Fired Up!, but it's just a shame they aren't given a meatier plot to work with. Credit must also be given to first-time screenwriter Freedom Jones who supplies the duo with some truly quick and witty dialogue. It's clear she wrote the story as a dumb spoof of the recent rash of cheerleading movies (and even takes a few stabs at sports movies), but unfortunately she goes a little too dumb.
Fired Up!

Fired Up!She lets the overly handsome Nick and Shawn loose amongst a bunch of scantily clad nubile young women to do the dirty deed, but nothing close to that deed ever gets done. Mostly just a bunch of half-baked innuendoes and awkward sexual situations that are sometimes funny but are mostly just over-the-top stereotypes that never get a real laugh. Shawn and Nick's original plan was to score quickly and head back home with no plans of actually participating in the final cheerleading competition. But things hit a snag when they begin to bond with their teammates and Shawn falls for Carly (Sarah Roemer, the lover interest in Disturbia), one of the cheerleaders from his own school.

On the good side of the coin, Fired Up! never takes the mean-spirited angle and, for the most part, stays away from depicting the girls as empty-headed décor. In fact, Shawn's little sister, Poppy (Ugly Betty's Juliette Goglia), steals nearly every scene she's in as a young entrepreneur who teaches Shawn and Nick basic cheerleading moves, and heads up the team's fundraising efforts by garnering an advertising deal that requires the cheerleaders to wear a gigantic Staples logo on their backs and to incorporate the store's tagline in their cheer routine. The film is always better when she's on the screen just as it is when John Michael Higgins is portraying his overly enthusiastic cheer camp coach. No other performances are worthy of mention, but it is interesting to note that two of the film's funnier moments come from the costumed mascots who also attend the cheer camp.

The film isn't making fun of cheerleading as much as it is sex and sexuality, but it can't do enough in the PG-13 format to turn the whole thing on its side. Even a guaranteed-for-laughs-skinny-dip-in-the-pond moment flames out in an anemic whimper. Attempts to bring heart and soul to the proceedings fall decidedly short as well. Director Will Gluck, who is making his feature directorial debut, actually does an admirable job walking us through the proceedings. Fortunately he has two funny leads that raise the whole thing up to the doorstep of acceptability all on their own. Otherwise Fired Up! would have no value at all.


Component Grades
Movie
DVD
2 stars
4 stars
DVD Experience
3 Stars

DVD Details:

Unrated Edition reviewed for DVD details

Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Language and Sound: Closed Captioned; English: Dolby True HD; French: Dolby True HD; Portuguese: Dolby True HD; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; audio commentary; making-of featurette.

Supplements:

Commentary - Feature-length commentary track with director Gluck and leads Olsen and D'Agosto.

Featurettes:

  • This is Not a Cheerleading Movie: The Making of Fired Up (15:38)
  • Double Duty (6:22)
  • Press Junket: Hour 12 (1:42)

Deleted Scenes - gag reel (7:55)

Previews

Number of Discs: 1 with Keepcase Packaging

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