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February 20, 2009 |

By Dustin Rowles | Film | February 20, 2009 |

The Cheerleading movie. Or, should I say “film,” for such a divine sport deserves a smarter label. It is a splendid little genre, one ushered in at the arrival of this new century by the enthusiastically titled, Bring It On, starring one Kirsten Dunst, who offered up her cottage cheesiest for the masses. Since that new dawn, it has been decidedly downhill for the cheerleading genre, as a muddle of sequels and lifeless shams have near but destroyed the good will steered into an otherwise cheerless generation of Pom Pom cinema.

But Fired Up! is not, as one would expect, an easy replica, or a facsimile thereof. And while it does pay homage to its forbearer, Fired Up is a classic in its own right, a film that deserves its place at the top of the cheer pyramid. It has done justice to the dying memory of spirit fingers, laser-catting greased lightning and summer lovin’ into the mist. This ain’t your typical beauty school drop-out, machacho. Bring It On set the benchmark, but Fired Up has brought it forth. There is no duh in this dumb, my precious little ones. It is all spirit sticks and spanky pants. It’s a new world order, folks. This ain’t a Paul Blart world we’re living in anymore. There’s a new leader of this Cheer-ocracy. It’s name is Fired Up.

Nicholas D’Agosto and Eric Christian Olsen. Remember these names, my fervent sistren, for you will not get into cinematic heaven without such knowledge. They are leads in Fired Up, playing Shawn and Nick, respectively. They portray — inhabit — the fast-talking charm bracelets of the Panther football team. One is QB. The other is wide receiver. But they have conquered their high school, laid waste to the available nethertrim, such as it is. They are in need of fresh produce, and cheerleading camp provides the soft but firm grapefruits they so badly want, ney, need. For it is their birthright, as strapping young gentlemen, to douse the world with their seed, to spray it, and not to say it, as the saying goes. And so, a plan is hatched: Edie McClurg, the high-school cheerleading coach , is wooed, while Philip Baker Hall — the shit-talking head coach of the football team — is plied with fabrications, each more grand than the other until, alas, our two heroes are freed from their pads. In their place: Rich pastels and those aforementioned spanky pants, lit even brighter around the ropey thighs of Shawn and Nick. The world — or at least 300 supple women with heaving bosoms at cheerleading camp — is at their service, receptacles for their galloping Trojans. George W. Bush, a once honored cheerleader and cocaine vacuum , would be so proud.

Ah, but there is a catch. A hitch in the narrative step, if you will. While Shawn and Nick are, initially, pleased to bake the biscuits, they soon tire of the vagina merry-go-round. The cheek of so much ass soon loses its luster, like fine shellfish at a Red Lobster all you can eat buffet. Our two fine protagonists — as gentlemen are wont to do — find themselves in need of a monogomatic hidey-hole, a final phallic resting place, somewhere their man parts can call home and unpack their bags, if you will. It is in a man’s nature, after marking so much territory, to plunder one last tree and build a cabin. For Shawn, it’s the girl next door, Carly (Sarah Roemer), a sterling nymphet on his own high school team, who would be — as bad luck would have it — pre-engaged to a Nickelback fan, a man who trills the sonorific melodies of Chumbawumba from his shiny Beamer. He is a douche pickle, as the kids are so fond of saying. For Nick, it is even more complicated. He is in love with an older woman — a hard-nosed pepstepping instructor, played with aplomb by Molly Sims, a frequent guest of Sports Illustrated and their popular swimsuit issues, replete with hard hitting baseball minutia and see-through bikini bottoms, which offer so many of us a glimpse at what we cannot have, namely venereal infection. It is she who so deftly puts the itch in bitch. Ah, but for Nick, an older woman might make a beautiful lover, if only she weren’t such a hard nut to nut, so to speak, and her husband weren’t a closeted male former cheerleading champ with a penis engorged with hope and lust.

Ah, but what should become of their fates? It is Shakespearean, to say the least, and it involves the so-called Fountain of Troy, that legendary center of the Trojan War, where used condoms pocked with holes go to die. But I will not divulge the specifics, so as not to harm the box-office potential and render Fired Up a future gem of the underappreciated nature. I can only offer this: I have not seen two men crack with such wiseness since John Beckwith and Jeremy Grey allowed us to witness their rapid-fire witticisms in the comedy for the ages, Wedding Crashers. Shawn and Nick’s repartee is rich with cultural allusions, peppered with randiness, and ornamented with product placements eased seamlessly into the narrative like a plastic grocery bag from Safeway, earnest provider of the ingredients for life (over 5000 low prices on what you need the most — check their Sunday circular!). Indeed, Fired Up is a full-twisting layout of sublime, a round-off, back-handspring of transcendence, rich with alacrity and effulgence, a judge’s row of 10! 10! 10!

Dustin Rowles is the publisher of Pajiba. You can email him or leave a comment below.

Fired Up! / Dustin Rowles

Film | February 20, 2009 |

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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