Reviewed by: John R. Evans
FIRST-TIME VOLUNTEER REVIEWER
|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|
|Producer:||Gross Entertainment, Moving Pictures, DPI, Screen Gems, Weinstock Productions, Paddy Cullen, Will Gluck, Marcy Gross, Matthew Gross, Peter Jaysen, Charles Weinstock, Ann Weston|
“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
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.