The first movie wasn’t great cinema, but under the direction of Peyton Reed it was at least carefree fun. It also had a bikini carwash. IN IT TO WIN IT is just painful even by direct to video, ’tween movie standards. I almost feel bad critiquing it like a regular movie, so I will ignore things like plot, character development, structure and substance, and focus on what the potential audience might expect.
1) The cheerleading scenes are laughable. The actors obviously have minimal dancing skills. Most of them just seem to flail around, which is actually pretty funny to watch. The story involves a west coast and east coast cheerleading rivalry (actually referred to in the film as “cheer Crips” and “cheer Bloods”), which leads to a WEST SIDE STORY-style “Cheer Rumble” in the streets of Universal Studios Orlando. This is easily one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen put on celluloid.
2) It’s obvious that the writers were desperately trying to be hip by dropping in cool teenage references they probably got by reading People magazine. This might explain why characters use MySpace as a verb or make comparisons to Bennifer and TomKat. I got an advanced review copy of the DVD and the thing already felt outdated.
This was one of the harder films I’ve had to sit through as a reviewer, even though it involved watching hot cheerleaders for an hour and a half.
Deleted Scenes (9:34): More awfulness.
Lights, Camera, Bring It! (9:14): The main thing I took away from this Making Of is that there really is a west coast and east coast cheerleading rivalry. God, I hope I never have a daughter.
East Coast Proper (4:50): Some guy named Tony G (who looks the exact opposite of what you’d expect a choreographer to look like) teaches you how to cheer on the Eaaaastsiiiide.
West Coast Flair (5:24): The same Mr. G now shows you how the cheerleaders roll on the west coast, which suspiciously looks like regular dancing.
The Rumble with Tony G (16:57): A demonstration of the “fight” between the Jets and the Sharks, which is a mesh between the east and west “flavors.” Somewhere right now, everyone ever involved with WEST SIDE STORY is drill-spinning in their graves.
Cheer Off! (8:04): If I never see a middle aged Latino man do “spirit fingers” ever again, it will be too soon.
Extra Tidbit: Director Steve Rash also helmed the Pauly Shore vehicle, SON IN LAW.