Eric Christian Olsen, Nicholas D'Agosto, Sarah Roemer, Molly Sims, Philip Baker Hall, John Michael Higgins
Do you really have any doubt what to expect out of "Fired Up?"
Let's see. Hmmmm. Two guys infiltrate a cheerleading camp filled with a couple hundred hottie, hardbody cheerleaders at cheerleading camp.
Anyone see where this is going?
The two guys, Shawn (Nicholas D'Agosto) and Nick (Eric Christian Olsen), are only in it for the hotties when, GASP!, Shawn ends up with a crush on Carly (Sarah Roemer), the squad's leader.
How did you feel about "Bring It On?"
No, wait. Better yet, how did you feel about "Bring It On Again?"
"Fired Up" isn't nearly clever enough or charming enough to reach the heights of Kirsten Dunst's "Bring It On," but screenwriter Freedom Jones actually manages to give "Fired Up" enough wit and humor to keep it watchable despite first-time helmer Will Gluck's formulaic framework.
Of course, it doesn't help that both D'Agosto and Olsen look well over 20 adding a creepiness factor to the entire proceedings no matter how seductive the cheerleaders act along the way.
Despite Gluck's unimaginative direction, a certain creepiness factor and the all too familiar teen sex comedy jokes, "Fired Up" works far more than one might expect and those who have a certain weakness for this type of guilty pleasure film will find more than a few laughs contained within.
In fact, it's almost a shame that Gluck doesn't quite seem to know what he's doing here..."Fired Up" actually flirts with being downright funny and, despite the obvious age issues, Olsen and D'Agosto have a relaxed, mischievous chemistry that brings to mind the "American Pie" films more than it does the "Bring It On" films.
Along with the largely younger cast, "Fired Up" features experienced actors John Michael Higgins and Philip Baker Hall in supporting roles sort of carrying on the Eugene Levy tradition.
It's hard to figure out, then, what went wrong with "Fired Up?"
Is Will Gluck more creative than it seems? Did he perhaps meet studio resistance to adding substance to the film?
Or did Gluck manage to decimate what may have been an inspired and witty script from Freedom Jones?
It's hard to say, really.
The only thing that's sure is that, while it certainly doesn't fire on all cylinders, "Fired Up" is a spirited, raunchy and surprisingly funny flick likely headed to a much longer life on home video after it buzzes through your local cineplex.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic