New on Blu-ray: Fired Up

High school football players want to have sex with cheerleaders. The concept isn’t new, but this puts the boys’ hormones into overdrive.

Nick (Eric Christian Olsen) and Shawn (Nicholas D’Agosto) are hardcore jocks that pride themselves on their ability to score on and off the field. By now, they have exhausted the hottie pool at their own school. Nonetheless, the idea of going two weeks without girls at another blistering stint of football camp is so unpleasant the boys unleash their inner spirit, pick up some pom-poms and head to Fired Up cheerleading camp instead. As they make their way through a fresh population of girls, Shawn and Nick actually find themselves contributing to the possibility of success for their cheer squad who have placed last every year. Their selfish decision actually leads the boys to grow as people. Shawn falls in love and Nick learns that girls are people too.

This movie is Bring It On meets Varsity Blues (minus the drama) peppered with references to Dodgeball, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Boiler Room, and various others. It’s basically borrowed well-liked moments from popular movies from the last few decades. The film also calls into question a repeated cliché about football players: they only play ball to get with girls. They’ve said it in Dazed and Confused, the aforementioned Varsity Blues and numerous others. But as proven here, there are plenty of other, easier ways to seduce women.

The movie is what it is. It’s not always funny but then something will be so funny it almost makes up for the parts that preceded it. While much of the humour is provided by the antics of Nick and Shawn, the other characters round out the comedy. If the film relied solely on the duo for entertainment, it would have fallen flat quickly; but the inclusion of several other funny personalities really helps keep the flick afloat. These others include obnoxious boyfriend Dr. Rick (David Walton), flamboyant Brewster (Adhir Kalyan), and slightly inappropriate Coach Keith (John Michael Higgins).

This movie joins the ranks of other recent films that focus on the bromance. For that reason, it’s not entirely a chick flick – there’s too much skirt-chasing for it not to be directed at the boys too. But the second half does shift gears and pom-poms rule.

The Blu-ray provides both the theatrical and unrated versions of the film, as well as a digital copy of the unrated flick. With a little over a minute separating the two, the brilliance is in the star that appears in the corner of the screen to identify the few seconds of additional footage throughout the movie. “This is not a Cheerleading Movie,” the making-of featurette, and “Double Duty” provide various interviews, including tongue-in-cheek comments from Olsen, D’Agosto and Danneel Harris, a lesbian cheerleader. The commentary by director Will Gluck, Olsen and D’Agosto is much of the same; luckily they’re funny most of the time. There’s also a gag reel and the film is BD-Live enabled.

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