So here's the equation: A medium-budget studio release goes on to become a surprise hit, so it only stands to reason that sequel-talks begin circulating. But the immortal rule of sequel-making dictates that you spend less money on the follow-up, which means when you're doing a Part 2 to a mid-budget flick, you're all of a sudden wandering into low-budget territory -- regardless of the fact that Universal is footing the bill.
Extra low budgets mean lesser stars, shorter production time, and less expensive experts -- which means you're now wandering into direct-to-video country. And if we learned anything from the Bring It On sequel, the cleverly titled Bring It On Again, it's that some movies, however profitable, do not warrant sequels. But hey, someone over at Universal figured that "cheerleaders = money," and that's basically how sequels get made these days.
So now with Bring It On Again more than two years gone (and entirely forgotten), Universal decides it's time for yet another pom-pom-romp, this one called Bring It On: All or Nothing. A sequel inasmuch as it deals with high school girls who are cheerleaders, this third entry in the perpetually leering series is precisely what you think it is: redundant, familiar, uninspired, drab, obvious, and endlessly generic. But I suppose the 12-year-old girls might like it ... if only if the flick weren't jam-packed with smarmy crotch jokes and nearly-latent racism.
Here's what passes for plot: Lily-white rich girl Britney is living it up in high school: She's blonde and popular and hot and rich and all that great stuff... But whoops, her Daddy just lot his job and the family unit must now relocate to "Crenshaw," which means Britney will actually have to come face-to-face with African-Americans AND Latinos, but only the cheerleading ones. After much mild-yet-racially unpleasant banter, the "inner-city" cheerleaders eventually allow the "rich whitey" cheerleader into their ranks, and once the squad is able to harness the magic of "krumping" into their act, hoo boy, they're like really gonna bring it, word.
I'm sure part of it is just that I'm getting old and that movies are getting stupider, but there's really nothing in Bring It On 3 that you can't find (right now) on MTV or The Disney Channel or whatever else it is that bored 12-year-old girls are watching these days. There's not one sympathetic or likable character to be found here; the cheer-girls are differently colored and accented mannequins, jiggly young robots programmed to roll their eyes, jerk their necks around, and dole out some of the silliest PG-13-level 'sauciness' you'll ever see.
Pre-packaged plastic junk from the word go, Bring It On: All or Nothing is a comedy without laughs, a "sports" movie without thrills, and a perfect example of what happens when a bunch of 50-year-olds sit around a board room and decide what "the teenage girls" want to see. I know a few members of the Bring It On 3 demographic, and none of 'em would be caught dead watching this thing, unless they were mercilessly trashing it for its endless and multi-dimensional ways of being "corny." ("Corny" is what the kids say when they mean "forced, flimsy, and entirely insincere.")
The normally quite charming Hayden Panettiere (Ice Princess) gets the lead here, basically playing the same type of gal played by Kirsten Dunst in Part 1 and some other girl in Part 2. She brings a sunny presence to a seriously underwritten role, but the actress is being forever interrupted by a smug put-down, a cheesy gag, or an uncontrollable explosion of white-bread-style krumping. But what's most annoying is the complete dearth of sympathetic or amusing characters. Just about everyone in Bring It On 3 is selfish, bossy, stupid, vain, or arrogant. Makes it pretty tough to give a slap about who wins the omg sooooo important cheerfest in Act III.
Director Steve Rash knows exactly what he's doing; while the expulsions of mindless dialogue focus on snob-girl this and cheer-tastic that, his cameras rarely stray from the jail-bait bellies, butts and boobies. Not to be tasteless, but this "family" flick's got more crotch-shots than your average issue of Playboy. Yet another piece of phenomenal filmmaking from the man who brought you Son in Law, Eddie, Held Up, and American Pie Presents: Band Camp. Hey, at least he's consistent.
Video: A perfectly clean anamorphic widescreen transfer, though the movie's not exactly a visual piece of splendor, trust me.
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 (English, French, Spanish, ditto on the subtitles). Several pop hits from five years ago hit your speakers in fine form.
Extras: There's an 11-minute gag reel, and four featurettes, which break down like so:
Behind the Cheers (8:21, basic backstage/interview whatnot), Cheer Camp: From Wannabe to Cheerleader (7:15, dance training), Break It Down (19:21, a cheer/dance lesson for you!), and From the Street to the Set (5:39, a chat with the choreographers).
Yeah, I know this movie wasn't made for someone of my age, gender, and crotchety disposition, but I don't need to be a pre-teen cheerleader wannabe to tell you this thing is cheaply made, poorly written, and all but bereft of anything resembling "quality filmmaking."