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Movie Review

Fired Up!

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, partial nudity, language and some teen partying.

Reviewed by: John R. Evans

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens, Adults
Comedy, Teen
1 hr. 29 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
February 20, 2009
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Featuring: AnnaLynne McCord, Smith Cho, Sarah Roemer, Danneel Harris, Molly Sims, Eric Christian Olsen, John Michael Higgins, Nicholas D'Agosto, Philip Baker Hall, Amber Stevens, Margo Harshman, Janel Parrish, Julianna Guill, Juliette Goglia, Hayley Marie Norman, Jill Latiano, Libby Mintz, Nicole Tubiola, Alan Ritchson, Tracy Dali, Joy Osmanski, Courtney Fleming, Collins Pennie, Jake Sandvig, Kate Lang Johnson, Krista Kalmus, Roni Meron, Adhir Kalyan, Madison Riley, Tiffany Collie, Karen Jin Beck, Rachael Murphy, Nicole Andrews, Amelia Jackson-Gray, Tanya Chisholm, Brian Unger, Jenny Robinson, Bertrand Roberson Jr., Kelen Coleman, David Walton, Nicholas James, Sandra Sanchez, James Earl, Keeshan Giles, Julie Bornemann, Austin Graves, Krista Coyle, Hailey Bright, Stephanie Ann Rose, Jessica Madison, Courtney Kocak, Korrina Rico, Kristen Claire Feldman, Kara Michelle Hyatt, Les Feltmate, Noelle Michiels, Michael Blaiklock, Jessica Provencher, Casey Graf, Brea Renee, Carlos Nava, Lucy Griffin, Andrew Ferguson, Jennifer Kelsey, Steven West, Jereena M. Palaganas, Dan Fine, Stefanie Shabasheve
Director: Will Gluck
Producer: Gross Entertainment, Moving Pictures, DPI, Screen Gems, Weinstock Productions, Paddy Cullen, Will Gluck, Marcy Gross, Matthew Gross, Peter Jaysen, Charles Weinstock, Ann Weston
Distributor: Screen Gems

“2 guys. 300 girls. You do the math.”

The opening scene from “Fired Up!” features male leads Nick (Eric Christian Olsen) and Shawn (Nicholas D’Agosto) making out with two girls, while their dads are away for the afternoon. Upon the unexpected early return of the fathers, Nick and Shawn devise a plan for a quick escape. Their experience spending a great deal of time together in a football team huddle proves beneficial, and the guys are able to elude the two hulking, and less than pleased, dads. In terms of PG-13 films, “Fired Up!” endeavors, from the word go, to push the envelope in several different ways. In fact, shortly after the make-out scene, the first of literally dozens of such scenes, Nick and Shawn make a game of guessing how many times their gruff high school football coach will say the word sh** as they see him approaching in the hallway… but more on that in a moment.

As it turns out, Nick and Shawn are highly skilled football players, but they don’t look forward to the prospects of a grueling summer football camp. With their grossly over-indulged hormones raging away, they devise a master plan to accompany the Tigers cheerleading squad to cheer camp. The only problem being that the boys are known on campus for their unapologetic pursuit of female,s and so they enlist the services of Shawn’s younger sister, Poppy (played exceptionally well by Juliette Goglia) who teaches them some cheer stunts in order to catch the eye of the girls on the squad.

The cheerleading team’s captain, Carly (a charming Sarah Roemer) has doubts about the legitimacy of the boys’ intentions, and yet she sees the value in bringing Nick and Shawn along for the added stunting skills they would offer. On the bus ride to camp, the guys fear they may have made a huge mistake as the twenty ladies on the bus are continually chanting every word uttered, but upon reaching camp, the guys suspect they have arrived in Heaven. Wherein lies the application of the movie’s tagline… 2 guys. 300 girls. You do the math.

The bulk of the film’s 1:29 running time is spent at cheer camp. as Nick and Shawn use their looks, charm, and a spirit of deception to conquer girls. We see them preying upon conquest after conquest until Shawn encounters an internal struggle. Unlike the many girls he has been with, he starts to have real feelings for Carly, and, as a result, becomes fairly committed to actually helping the squad in the huge competition that annually closes out cheer camp. Nick, on the other hand, grows tired of adding notches to his belt and is ready to leave.

Will Carly look beyond Shawn’s playing ways and fall for him? Will Nick convince the married cheer instructor to sleep with him? Will the Tigers perform well in the contest and dethrone the hated rival Panthers? You would have to see the film to find the answers to those questions.

But I don’t recommend you do that.

“Fired Up!” is certainly humorous, and male leads Olsen and D’Agosto deliver quality performances, but this film is filled with as much inappropriate material as one will likely ever experience in a PG-13 rating. It takes little more than a glance at the official movie poster for “Fired Up!” to see what type of humor is forced upon its’ viewers. Two letters F and U are prominent in the design and that serves as none too subtle evidence of the spirit of the film. As if cleverly trying to get away with filth among older adults who may not be familiar with text-speak, the phrase FU! is shouted several times in the form of a chant.

God’s name is disrespected 18 times (including 1 GD). In addition to this, there are nearly 100 cuss words used; sh** 28 times, da** 18 times, bit** 12 times, and other words that I am embarrassed to attempt to communicate in this forum. In the context of competition between the squads, there is some venomous language used between several females. Nick and Shawn see girls not as fearfully and wonderfully made, but rather merely as a source of temporary physical pleasure. There are numerous camera shots intended to draw attention to the female body. There is a skinny dipping scene which includes brief nudity. One supporting character represents a cliché gay male. Another supporting character is presented as a closeted lesbian. In addition to countless make-out scenes, there is also one scene which features two girls kissing each other.

Although they are deeply overshadowed by the film’s ills, there are a few redeeming elements. As Shawn begins to sense some real feelings for Carly, he feels guilty for previous actions and motives. He does tell Carly that he is sorry, but he fears she will not forgive him. While Shawn is experiencing conviction, which is a first step toward freedom, Nick actually laments any sensation which ties emotion to the act of sex. Nick does, however, demonstrate a great commitment to Shawn, and they present a decent model of the power of standing together in friendship. The supporting character Adam (played by Collins Pennie) hopes to use cheerleading to earn a college scholarship, so that he might be the first member of his family to attend college. Just before the film’s climactic cheer competition, Adam is seen leading his squad in prayer.

Again, “Fired Up!” is entertaining, but most all sin is enjoyable for a season. My humble recommendation? Don’t forfeit the prompting of God’s Holy Spirit for the tainted-spirit fingers of “Fired Up!”

Violence: Mild / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

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Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—This movie is the perfect blend of stupid and smart comedy. Obviously more of the former than the latter, a given from the previews, but still remarkably smart. How so? Well, the dialogue is particularly witty and full of pop culture references, current and past.

Secondly, the teenagers, despite any stigma surrounding cheerleading (and despite the fact they’re played by older actors/actresses), possess abnormally precocious intellects… yes, even the goofy, womanizing ex-football stars, the leads of the film, Nick and Shawn. Alas, the beauty of scripting. Now, having said all that, this film is not suitable for kids. I would hope a sensible parent could surmise that much from the previews. Shoot, 20 years ago, this film would have been rated R. Hopefully, that gives some weight to the movie’s blatant lasciviousness, not to mention heap of puns, sex jokes—gay or straight—and innuendos in “Fired Up.” Still, I had a jolly ol' time (minus the G.W. jab—what the hey?!?) and still am having a jolly ol' time. There’s enough original content to chortle over for a few days.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Keenum, age 22 (USA)


Movie Critics
…1 star out of 4… Oh, is this movie bad. … Here is a movie that will do for cheerleading what “Friday the 13th” did for summer camp. …
—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
…staggeringly uninspired… “Fired Up!” is a distraction of limited appeal with no desire to be anything more. …
—Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times
…rah-rah raunchy… moronic and adolescent…
—Christy Lemire, The Associated Press
…paints all women as hopeless dimwits just waiting to be duped into bed by the first sleazeball who comes along…
—Josh Rosenblatt, The Austin Chronicle
…It’s “Wedding Crashers” with high school seniors and bras and panties, as opposed to Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson and copious toplessness. … lamely raunchy most of the time…
—Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
Comments from young people
Negative—I went to go see “Fired Up” with a couple of my ladies… thinking that it would be a fun, cute film to watch on a Saturday girls-night-out. I was wrong. I must say that the plot was cute: guys go to cheerleading camp just to meet girls, guys end up liking cheerleading and one of the main guys falls for the team captain… innocent, right? Yes, I feel the plot was cute and fun, but for some reason, the makers of the movie felt that it needed more embellishment. So, they attached and stuck in severe amounts of cursing (it was heavily in just about every scene), implied sexual connotations, gay/lesbian interactions, and totally inappropriate scenes between a married female coach and one of the new cheerleader guys (adultery).

The makers also took the liberty of appealing to the eyes of guys. As a young woman, I did not feel comfortable with Hollywood plastering those scantily clad girls across the screen, it was totally inappropriate. Why is Hollywood constantly pressing this “image” onto the guys and girls of our culture? Why can we not be able to go see a clean movie with our lady friends without shifting in our seats?

It made me feel extremely uncomfortable and embarrassed because I was the one to invite my friends to this film. I should have looked at the reviews before doing the inviting. Let’s be honest, fellow believers, if we can sit through junk like this, having no issues with it… we need to check our relationship with God. Light cannot be visible in complete darkness. And God is light. (“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.”—1 John 1:5) Movies that encourage our flesh and satisfy our flesh are not of God. Let’s start serving our God through our every action, and every thought. In everything let’s praise God.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Lauren, age 16 (USA)
Negative—I went to see this movie for my birthday with my friends. I would not waste your money on this movie. It was not good. I thought it was stupid.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Kyla, age 14 (USA)
Positive—I saw this movie and really enjoyed it, for a PG [Canadian motion picture rating system] movie, I would say it was offensive, but overall for a movie itself, it was pretty clean, usually in these kinds of movies such as “Superbad,” “Step Brothers,” “American Pie,” etc. there is a lot of crude humor, swearing everywhere, and a lot of nudity, but this movie was nice because there was no nudity and the swearing was very little, and the crude humor wasn’t that bad. I must say tho if I have watched this movie with my mom, I would have felt very awkward. nOverall, tho, I think it was a funny, clean teen movie, and I think it’s great that they made a movie that is funny and rated PG [Canada], instead of 18a [Canada]. My rating overall 4/5
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Matt, age 14 (Canada)
Comments from non-viewers
I have not seen this movie, and I do not want to see this movie. My close friend (also my age) went to see this. I asked her if it was good and worth seeing. She said that she laughed a lot, but also that she felt guilty every time she laughed because the joke was normally “dirty” or involved a cuss word or two. This movie (based on her re-telling to me) seems EXTREMELY offensive.
—Jordan, age 13 (USA)