Bring It on Again (2004)

An in-name-only sequel to the cheerleading musical, this first has to cope with the fact that we naturally think cheerleaders are stuck-up bitches by presenting a heroine (Anne Judson-Yager) who comes to college just as the dean (Kevin Cooney) is slashing the budgets for all other activities so the spoiled cheerleading squad can 'go to the nationals' and get a trophy which will encourage more alumni donations. Judson-Yager, a natural talent, is co-opted by the squad queen bee/drill sergeant (Bree Turner) as future head cheerleader but only if she dumps her geeky friends - geeky, that is, in fantasy teen movie terms; one's a black girl (Faune A. Chambers) who improvises routines rather than being a cog in a display and the other is a campus DJ (Bryce Johnson) with a scruffy beard. At mid-point, the heroine gets over being tempted by the lifestyle and quits, then has the idea of forming a rival squad with the disaffected and unfunded members of the ballet society and the musical production troupe (amusing stereotypes - especially Felicia Day as a ballerina who specialised in anguish), honing their skills to cheer on the university's less-noted sportsmen - croquet players, girls' softball, fencers.

This is quite funny, but the finale is cut-and-paste stuff: a contest between the two squads, which the good guys win (apparently by favouring even briefer outfits and performing to the DJ's scratch stuff - in just as mechanised and choreofascist a manner as the baddies), humiliating the nasties (who could hardly have expected to triumph since the contest is settled by a popular vote with an electorate they've been mean to for years). Directed by Damian Santostefano (Severed Ties).

First published in this form here.

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