23rd Oct2017

‘Bring It On: Worldwide Showdown’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Vivica A. Fox, Christine Prosperi, Jordan Rodrigues, Sophie Vavasseur, Gio Lodge-O’Meally, Stephan Benson | Written by Alyson Fouse | Directed by Robert Adetuyi

bring-in-on-6-dvd

After being challenged to a global cheerleading showdown by an ambitious new rival, national champion Destiny (Prosperi) and her team set out to compete in a virtual cheerleading competition organised by the Cheer Goddess (Fox). Taking on squads from all over the world, Destiny is pushed to the limit as she attempts to lead her team to glory.

I know what you’re thinking: “There’s ANOTHER Bring It On movie?” Apparently there is… This time round we’re scrapping the bottom of the proverbial story barrel, once again rehashing concepts from other movies to create a story which screams been-there-done-that. Gone is the charisma and charm of the early films and in comes more of a Disney Channel level of storytelling and acting, with an obsession with hashtags and social media that instead of feeling current and on trend, feels more like a desperate need to be “cool.”

The idea that a Bring It On movie would pilfer other films for it’s story shouldn’t come as surprise given that this latest entry is penned by Alyson Fouse, who previously wrote the 2006, 2007 and 2009 entries in the franchise – and those films all borrowed plot elements from other movies: in particular Bring It On: In It To Win It, which was essentially a cheerleading remake of West Side Story! Here it seems the Step Up franchise (seemingly Step Up 2: The Streets and its online challenges) was the inspiration for this story, also lifting the street-smart dancing of that franchise with the traditional cheerleading techniques… How else can you explain Destiny and co. adding a street-dancing crew to their number?

I don’t have to tell you that there’s a huge difference between the original Bring It On and this SIXTH(!) entry… that should be obvious really. Rewatching the original back to back with Bring It On: Worldwide Showdown, aka Bring It On: Worldwide #Cheersmack, it’s clear to see that the latest film is trying it’s hardest to replicate everything about that first movie – the betrayal by a teammate, the champion forced to rethink her ideas on being a cheerleader captain, etc. However worst of all it tries to duplicate the cheer-speak of the first film, adding “fem, “cheer” and every other conceiveable combination of the two to the casts lines, ultimately ending up sounding like gobbledygook rather than the valley girl-esque reparteee of the first film.

If Bring It On: Worldwide Showdown has one thing going for it, it’s that it showcases the skills of REAL teams who really do compete on the worldwide stage, featuring teams from South Africa, Australia, the Czech Republic and even the UK and Ireland, amongst many, many others; giving cheerleaders a platform, outside of tournaments and reality TV.

Speaking of cheerleading, much like the script adds a hip hop flair to the cheerleading squad, director Robert Adetuyi brings his experience with films like Stomp The Yard, on which he wrote the screenplay; and his previous directorial effort, You Got Served: Beat the World, to the visuals of Bring It On: Worldwide Showdown, especially the scenes featuring the white mask cheerleading “villains” The Truth. Though that’s not enough to raise the film out of the direct-to-DVD doldrums – even some visual flair can’t save this film from it’s flat script and wooden performances. I think it might be time to stop cheering the producers on and put this franchise to cheer-bed.

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