Blu-ray Review: Bring It On: Worldwide #Cheersmack

Bring It On: Worldwide #Cheersmack is the sixth installment in the franchise, and it’s clear that since the original in 2000, the focus on the movies is no longer on actual story or characters, and has mainly been made for those who want to watch hormonal teens (well, twenty-something “teens”) do cheer routines to pop music.

The original Bring it On starring Kirsten Dunst and Eliza Dushku back in 2000 wasn’t groundbreaking or anything, but it took itself seriously enough that it seemed like an actual movie that also showcased solid cheer routines. #Cheersmack feels like it was written on someone’s lunch break, filling in cringe worthy dialogue and ridiculous scenarios between dance routines.

You know there’s a problem right out of the gate when every character introduced is beyond loathsome. The franchise attempts to modernize itself by adding a heavy focus to social media, hacking and hashtags; yet it all comes off as all style and zero substance — and poor style at that. The movie opens up with the three-time world cheer champion Rebels performing for a crowd, and trending worldwide to love and admiration. Everyone loves them and is cheering them on in person, and online. Then, a mysterious masked cheer group named “The Truth,” interrupts their feed, performs a routine of their own, and calls out the Rebels, challenging them and saying they’ve been #Cheersmacked.

Apparently this is a thing that the entire world of cheer knows, as the crowd instantly starts booing the Rebels, even going so far as to throw food at them. Don’t ask why everyone that was at the event to watch the Rebels moments earlier now despises them, but they do. It’s pretty much not worth delving into the story more than that, as it’s all completely illogical and cliché.

There are plenty of movies that don’t take themselves seriously, are completely over the top silly, and yet find a way to make that part of their charm. Bring It On: Worldwide #Cheersmacked is all of those things without the charm. The lead character, Destiny (Christine Prosperi) says things like, “You’re nobody unless you have tons of followers,” and uses words like “Cheertastic,” and having a “Cheerlebrity existence.”

It’s clear that they think they’re making a movie that has its finger on the pulse of the current state of society. That being someone online can overtake who you are in reality. It touches every so briefly on Internet bullying, but treats it as part of the movie’s lame jokes that’s easily brushed aside and not to be taken seriously. It also doesn’t help that Destiny is the kind of person who is usually the villain in a high school movie, and for some reason we’re supposed to be on her side or feel bad for her when things don’t go her way? I wanted her to fail even after she had her out of the blue, cliché cheerpiphany moment and tried to right the wrongs she made.

It’s not just Destiny that’s unbearable to watch. No, EVERY other character in the movie is just as annoying. The Rebels need to fill in some spots left void by male cheerleaders leaving the group, so Destiny takes them to visit a trio of street dancers she met the day before. Of course, the fact that these guys sexually harassed her as soon as they saw her the day prior is ignored, and the three main cheerleaders each quickly pair off with these irredeemable testosterone-driven meatbags because nothing screams healthy relationship material like a guy saying, “Post ‘Hashtag I’d hit that’ with my picture,'” while thrusting his pelvis forward.

Again, I think the movie was made for people who wanted to watch people dancing, but while the choreography is good, there are loads of better movies that focus on dance routines out there that all follow the exact same story outline and aren’t filled with characters you want to see fall flat on their faces mid-routine. That may sound harsh, but hey, if you’re going to keep a franchise going this long, odds are you’re going to hit most of the same notes, so the least you can do is come up with characters that make hitting those story beats palatable.

I haven’t watched a Bring it On since the first film, which was enjoyable as I remember it. So if you’re in the mood for something about cheerleading, I’d recommend you go back and watch that again. That said, if you’ve stuck with the franchise this long, then I suppose you’ve come to expect what this film has to offer, which is basically nothing outside of the dance routines.

The picture and audio transfers are both top notch. The film looks crisp, with vibrant colours, even in the darker night scenes. The audio tracks that accompany the dance routines blast smoothly through the speakers, and sound great. Unfortunately, the terrible dialogue is just as clean, so you’ll have no problem hearing how bad it is.

Around the World: Building the Squads – This is a four-minute feature that talks about hiring the girls around the world, and choreographing the routines. With this being the main focus of the movie, they really barely even scratch the surface here. This should’ve been a hugely in-depth special feature that helped viewers understand the world of cheer and all that goes into the routines. Instead, they cram it all into four minutes and leave it at that.

A New Routine – This is a six-minute feature that talks about the new characters in the series and tries to justify the incredibly weak storytelling side of the movie by saying it’s more than it is. There isn’t.

The Look of Bring it On: Worldwide This is a two and a half minute featurette that talks about the look and feel of the movie. The actors talk about how the cheer squad looks clean, and then there’s a more edgy street look…and by edgy street look, they mean designer clothes and not edgy at all.

Gag Reel – This I chose to skip, as I’d already watched the 95-minute gag reel that was the movie itself.

Universal Pictures Presents Bring It On: Worldwide #Cheersmacked.. Directed by: Robert Adetuyi. Written by: Alyson Fouse. Starring: Christine Prosperi, Jordon Rodrigues, Gia Re, Vivica A. Fox. Running time: 95 Minutes. Rating: PG. Released on Blu-ray: Aug. 29, 2017.