A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the fifth installment in the Bring It On cheerleading comedy franchise covers much the same territory as its predecessors, with the sexual content toned way down. There is some mild sexual innuendo, and some naming of body parts (tetas) in Spanish. Most of the sexual messages are served up along racial and class stereotypes: The East L.A. teens are sultry, street-wise vixens, while the squeaky-clean Malibu kids are either earnest naifs or elitist snobs. But there’s nothing overtly offensive, and movie’s central messages of friendship, loyalty, and dedication make it a palatable, if not original, diversion.
What's the story?
When cheer squad captain Lina Cruz (Christina Milian) moves from East L.A. to affluent Malibu after her mom remarries, she struggles not only to fit into a new environment, but also to inject the lackluster cheerleading squad with a little Latin flavor. Her efforts are thwarted, of course, by an elitist rival cheerleading squad captained by the catty Avery (Rachele Brooke Smith), who just happens to be the sister of hunky love interest Evan (Cody Longo). Can she overcome the stereotypes, win the boy, whip the squad into shape, and win the championship? Of course she can.
Is it any good?
BRING IT ON: FIGHT TO THE FINISH is predictable at best. However, the movie does keep the focus on its central themes of friendship, loyalty, and hard work without succumbing to the temptation to steep every scene in sexual innuendo, as some of its predecessors have done. The “Us vs. Them” contrast of the East. L.A. and Malibu kids is a bit heavy-handed at times, as are the racially-tinged barbs, but both serve the ultimate message that two disparate groups can find common ground and work together toward a common goal: winning the championship.
Fans of this franchise will mostly want to see it for the cheerleading, and they won’t be disappointed, especially with the hip-hop and Latin-infused training scenes.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about stereotypes. Are they ever accurate, and if so, does it matter? How can differences be overcome?
What do kids face when they move to a new school?
What makes a family? There are several “families” portrayed in this movie: Lina considers her friends sisters while she’s faced with a new stepfamily. Do you think that's typical?
How does Lina struggle with staying true to her roots while attempting to fit into her new world?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.