A movie that received little fanfare when it was released earlier this year, Fired Up looked like
a cliché teen comedy in almost every way. A rip-off of Bring It On most people assumed. And yet, Fired Up is a surprisingly funny comedy that is a lot like Bring It On, except that it is told from the perspective of two horny guys who show up at cheerleader camp to get girls.
To be more precise, Fired Up is about two best friends called Shawn and Nick, played by Nicholas D'Agosto and Eric Christian Olsen respectively, who are the heartthrobs of their high school as well as star football players. But when their coach reminds them that they have to attend football camp in ridiculous hot weather, they decide to bail on their sport and join the cheerleading crew, with the single intent to hook up with hundreds of sexy cheerleaders who will all be trapped at their own respective camp. And hook up they do, until Shawn starts to fall for the head cheerleader (Sarah Roemer, who turned heads as the sexy neighbor in Disturbia) of their disastrous team.
While it eventually devolves into a typical romantic comedy with an underdog competition to boot, Fired Up is funny and entertaining. D'Agosto and Olsen are perfect together, playing off each other's comedic beats with surprising precision. The two, both of whom are around the age of 30 in real life, seem to have had a blast filming a picture where they play teenage horndogs surrounded by sexy girls. Their playfulness rubs off on others, as Roemer, John Michael Higgins and Molly Sims all embrace the goofiness of the film.
The movie's flaw is that it isn't that funny. Compared to some of the other comedies to come out in recent years like Knocked Up, Superbad, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and, most recently, The Hangover, Fired Up does feel like a teen comedy from the late 90's, where everything was polished and single-layered. The movie will make you chuckle, but won't have you giggling hysterically.
Still, Fired Up is a refreshingly simple and entertaining teen comedy with clever dialogue and strong performances from the two leads. It isn't a classic, but don't be fooled by its PG-13 rating; it pushes the limits, and at least in the DVD version I saw, veered into R-rated territory with some well-timed female nudity. If you thought Bring It On was too female-oriented, Fired Up is the cheerleader movie for the guys.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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