WOULD YOU LIKE SOME WIT WITH
published February 27,
now playing nationwide
Have you ever run into those crazy Internet
reviews that talk about that wonderful film experience known as Porky’s? How it was the horny teen
movie that really had a heart of gold? No? You never read that one? Well good for you. I have. I’m still itching from the exposure.
So with that said, I don’t want to seem too
enthusiastic about Fired Up. But I would say it’s not the expected disaster. The horndog teen romp,
with two football players spending a moment of personal growth at cheerleader camp, at least has a touch of wit, even if the only thing it
ultimately shares with Ferris Bueller is Edie McClurg. I appreciate the fact that it keeps
American Pie gross-out humor to a minimum, leaving the penis out of the pie crust in favor of bits
of intelligent observational humor and satire. Compared to most of these films, it’s smarter. And dumber. And everything in between.
The plot flows from two bodily secretions.
One I can’t mention. The other is sweat. Shawn (D’Agosto) and Nick’s (Eric Christian Olsen) Chicago-area high school football team is headed
for spring practice in
El Paso, Texas. To avoid the horror of the heat in a more pleasurable place, the boys talk their way onto the cheerleading team. (For the
record, I grew up in El Paso, and I’ve been to Chicago in spring. Two weeks of sun would seem like a relief.) A series of cartwheels, makeouts,
skinnydipping, gay baiting, and mascot jokes ensue.
This is hardly a setup for Ingmar Bergman,
but as male teen fantasy it’s relatively harmless. When the humor fails, Fired Up at least shows
its spirit with energy and skill. I could do without the gay-baiting. But I admit to being 17 once upon a time.
Still, it’s nothing special. It won’t
rewrite the books on this type of film. And it won’t replace Bring It On as the official film of
cheerleaders everywhere. But if you’re ever stuck as the only man at cheerleading camp …
kevinbowen @ stageandcinema.com