A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that although this fourth installment in the Bring It On franchise doesn't offer much in the way of actual sexual behavior, it has some heavy-handed sexual innuendo and some characters who are overtly sexual. There's also some cheer-related violence, including falls and broken bones. More problematically, most of the characters are stereotypes -- the "ghetto" African-American girl, the dumb blond, the effeminate male cheerleader, etc. Though these labels are disproven later in the film, viewers would be better served watching something that doesn't resort to stereotypes in the first place.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Gimme a D! Gimme a U! Gimme an M! Gimme a B! What's that spell? Unfortunately for a movie franchise that started off with a somewhat fresh, witty take on high school life, it's the fourth installment in the series: BRING IT ON: IN IT TO WIN IT. This time around, Carson (Ashley Benson) and her West Coast cheer team the Sharks return to summer cheer camp to settle a score against the East Coast Jets, to whom they lost last year. There's just one problem: A nasty divorce between cheer camp organizers Vance (Adam Vernier) and Pepper (Lisa Glaze) has split the camp in two. Instead of just competing against each other, the teams will also have to compete against Vance's team, the Flamingos, who are rumored to have a secret weapon. When Carson loses the spirit stick (don't ask) and members of the Sharks and Jets are injured in a "cheer rumble" (again, don't ask), they have a decision to make: go home without competing, or team up to try to defeat the Flamingos. And when Carson betrays her crush, Penn (Michael Copon), by telling his secret, she risks losing him forever.
Is it any good?
The outcome is predictable, and the plot is inane. "West Coast Sharks"? "East Coast Jets"? Aside from the obvious West Side Story references, since when are cheer teams defined by their region instead of their school? And that's just the top of the iceberg: The story goes in a million directions, derailed by gratuitous bikini shots, trips to Universal Orlando roller coasters, and bizarre dream sequences. By the time the cheerleaders get to their Breakfast Club-style bonding moments, you probably won't care.
Thank goodness that the cheering is actually pretty cool. Occasionally you can even catch a glimpse of a real cheerleader -- muscular and wearing a leg brace from the serious athletic strain the sport demands. And the "cheer rumble," which takes place through a Universal backlot, is a great moment. But given all of the movie's ridiculous stereotypes, even that high point doesn't make In It to Win It worth your teen's time.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about stereotypes. Why do you think so many TV shows and movies have characters based on over-simplified characteristics? Are they ever accurate? Does that matter? Teens: How are different kids stereotyped at your school? Does anyone apply a stereotype to you? If so, how do you disprove it? How does it feel?
- In theaters: December 18, 2007
- On DVD or streaming: December 18, 2007
- Cast: Ashley Benson, Jennifer Tisdale, Michael Copon
- Director: Steve Rash
- Studio: Universal Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 90 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: language, suggestive content and rude humor.
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
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