“Fired Up” feels like a fine idea that went awry. It wants to be so many things, but never reaches the level of something. Its dialogue is written to mimic far superior films like “Juno” or “Knocked Up” but the delivery of it is so forced that it’s hard to swallow.
“Fired Up” tells the story of two womanizing football jocks who spend all their time trying to get with as many girls as possible. Since they only joined football to get chicks, they figure it’s not that big of a sacrifice to attend cheerleading camp instead of football camp, because – wait for it – cheerleading camp is full of girls. Yes, this is the kind of intelligence you can expect.
The two jocks, Nick (Nicholas D’Agosto, “Extreme Movie”) and Shawn (Eric Christian Olsen, “Eagle Eye”), look like they just stepped out of an Abercrombie and Fitch catalogue – shaggy hair, baby faces and washboard abs. When they arrive at cheerleading camp they think they’ve arrived in heaven. Like one big Bowflex infomercial, tight-stomached women are doing sexually suggestive stretches that seem to only exist in this movie’s universe.
As the movie lumbers along like a cheerleader in an ankle brace, the story becomes populated with one stereotype after another. The wise younger sister, the villainous buffoon boyfriend, the closet lesbian cheerleader, the mean rival cheerleading gang and, of course, the kicker, all other male cheerleaders are inherently gay (insert sarcastic laugh).
Thinking more about this aspect of the film makes me even angrier. The screenwriters and director couldn’t be bothered to think of anything other than “male cheerleaders are gay.” Just one of the many sad and sorry aspects of “Fired Up.”
Even the appearance of seasoned actors like Phillip Baker Hall (“Zodiac”) and John Michael Higgins (“Arrested Development”) can’t save this film from the pit of bad acting and unimaginable stereotyping.
This film wants so bad to be mirror a Judd Apatow feature. It’s written with the fast-paced dialogue as one of those films, but lacks the punch. Nick and Shawn ham up their lines so much you feel like you’re watching a bad high school play. They are proud of themselves; we are not.
“Fired Up” continues along to its inevitable ending where we’re left wondering, why oh why did we just subject ourselves to that. I guess the only consolation I can give you is that you have to have the bad to appreciate the good.
“Don’t see this. Don’t … don’t see this. Rah!”