Bring It On

USA 2000

Reviewed by Stephanie Zacharak


Our synopses give away the plot in full, including surprise twists.

San Diego, the present. Under the leadership of Torrance, five-times national high-school cheerleading champs the Rancho Carne Toros start the school year certain they're on their way to their sixth victory. When a member of the team is injured, she's replaced by tough school newcomer Missy. Although championed by Torrance, who has a crush on her brother Cliff, Missy is the target of the other cheerleaders' scorn. They like her even less when she reveals that their potentially award-winning cheers have been stolen, by the Toros' previous captain, from the squad of an East Compton high school that's considered "invisible" because it's in a black neighbourhood.

The Toros try to get a new routine into shape by hiring a choreographer, which only results in their humiliation at the regional competition when another squad shows up with the same act. They then devise and perfect their own routine, which leads them to win second place in the nationals. The East Compton team, competing for the first time, takes first prize.


Conscious perhaps that the world doesn't need a biting satire of cheerleading, Bring It On's director Peyton Reed (who has worked largely in US television) gives us a pointedly funny and good-natured picture, one that takes the silliness of its subject as a given and moves on with intelligence and verve. Bring It On opens with a neat dream sequence featuring the Toros, a prize-winning school cheerleading team, which spells out everything that cheerleaders are thought to be - stuck-up, catty, super-popular, aggressively attractive, shallow - and then wallows gloriously in it. Before long, you're so revved up you can't wait to see their next routine.

The East Compton squad the Clovers, from a predominantly black neighbourhood, are particularly thrilling to watch. Led by the take-no-prisoners class act Isis (Gabrielle Union) and including members of the real-life R&B group Blaque, their sassy routines raise the cool quotient of a traditionally maligned sport. It's no wonder an all-white cheerleading squad would want to steal from them. But embedded in this particular theft is a bitter truth: the former cheerleading captain who stole from the Clovers clearly assumed it was OK to appropriate their material. Without being sticky-sweet or sanctimonious, Bring It On makes you consider that injustice seriously. What begins as a theft ends up being a spur to both sides to do more daring work - a wry comment, perhaps, on the positive effects of cross-cultural pollination?

Bring It On spins off one sly little joke after another, and the smart ensemble makes every one of them work. Eliza Dushku (who plays Faith in Buffy the Vampire Slayer) is likeable as the tough girl Missy who is really a serious gymnast but gradually becomes seduced by miniature uniforms and opposing-team taunts such as "That's all right, that's OK, you're gonna pump our gas someday!" Kirsten Dunst looks like every American high-school boy's dream date, and she plays captain Torrance's shallow suburban cluelessness with such a light touch that it's more endearing than wearying. When new kid Cliff Pantone ambles into the classroom wearing a Clash t-shirt, she asks with a shiver of girlish enthusiasm, "So, is that your band or something?" Later, when Torrance spends the night at Missy's house, she and Cliff find themselves sharing the bathroom mirror as they brush their teeth; their embarrassment at having to spit in front of one another makes for a beautifully staged comic flirtation. Given the movie's off-kilter savoir faire, it makes sense that their courtship should begin with starry eyes and foamy mouths.


Peyton Reed
Marc Abraham
Thomas A. Bliss
Jessica Bendinger
Director of Photography
Shawn Maurer
Larry Bock
Production Designer
Sharon Lomofsky
Christophe Beck
©Beacon Communications, LLC
Production Companies
Universal Pictures and Beacon Pictures present
Executive Producers
Armyan Bernstein
Max Wong
Caitlin Scanlon
Paddy Cullen
Patricia Wolff
Jessica Bendinger
Executive in Charge of Production
Nancy Rae Stone
Production Co-ordinators
Sarah Yang
Richard Devinki
Unit Production Manager
Paddy Cullen
Location Manager
Lisa S. Rothmuller
Post-production Supervisor
Brad Arensman
Assistant Directors
Todd Amateau
Jennifer Anderson
Handel Whitmore
Script Supervisor
Nicole Finch
Joseph Middleton
Michelle Morris
Loop Troop
Camera Operators
Jack Garrett
Houman Farough
Visual Effects Supervisor
John Teska
Additional Editor
Erik C. Andersen
Art Director
Timothy Whidbee
Set Decorator
Jill McGraw
Lead Scenic Artist
Gary W. Wimmer
Foreman Scenic Artist
Bryan S. Wheeler
Scenic Artist
Catherine A. Frazier
Costume Designer
Mary Jane Fort
Costume Supervisor
Nicole Capasso
Department Head:
Selina Jayne
Sandra Schneider
Taurus Sanders
Department Head:
Emjay Olson
Ramses Azzab III
Everett Jackson
Cindy Miguens
Title Design
Meher Gourjian
Title House Digital
Music Performed by
William A. Boston
Music Supervisor
Billy Gottlieb
Score Producer
Christophe Beck
Supervising Music Editor
Fernand Bos
Orchestra Scoring Mixer
Casey Stone
Additional Cheer Music Mixing
Mark Bryan
Music Consultant
G. Marq Roswell
"What's the Dillio?" - Mest; "Makes No Difference" - Sum 41; "Kids Wanna Know" - The Leaving Trains; "I Just Wanna Be Happy" - Brooke X; "See Ya (Radio mix)" - Atomic Kitten; Tchaikovsky's "The Swan Lake Suite Op.20 (C)" - Jim Long; "Cherry Pie" - Warrant; "2 Can Play That Game" - Sygnature; "As If" - Blaque; "Cavalier Song" - The Virginia Pep Band; "Freakin' You" - Jungle Brothers; "Give My Regards to Broadway" George M. Cohan; "The 900#" - The 45 King; "Dada Strutin'" - Sgt Rock; "Detour" -BIS; "What's a Girl To Do?" - sister2sister; " - Keith Wyatt; "Get Ready for This" - 2 Unlimited; "U.G.L.Y." - Daphne & Celeste; "Slang Dat Bottom" - Devastator X; "Take Control" - Sweets; "Somebody Say Oh Yeah", "Get Up & Dance" "Fanfare for God" - Mark Bryan; "Whorse" - Filibuster; "There She Goes" - The Getaway People; "All the Way Live" - Pressha; "Booty Bounce" - Kinsu; "Can U Feel It" - Tronic Wave; "More Beef Than Cattle" - ZA/10 featuring Kryptoknight; "Just What I Need" - Rufus King; "Tell Me Something" - Manchild; "Pauletta's Theme" - Ernest Lee; "Bring It All to Me (Remix)" - Blaque featuring 50 Cent; "Cheer for Me" - 95 South; "T-Bag" - Sons of Poseidon; "I'm Money" - Zebrahead; "Groovy" - Basshopper; "Shake a Lil' Somethin'" - 2 Live Crew; "Work It Baby" - DJ Laz, Kinsu; "Bounce with the Massive" - Tzant; "Giddie Up Let's Ride" - Kinsu; "Anywhere U.S.A." - P.Y.T; "Mickey" -B'witched; "Jump Up (If You Feel Alright)" - Da Beat Bros.; "As If" - Blaque featuring Joey Fatone Jr
Anne Fletcher
Ray Jasper
Sound Mixer
Robert Trevor Black
Re-recording Mixers
Andy Koyama
Jonathan Wales
Marc David Fishman
Lance Brown
Phillip Rogers
Supervising Sound Editor
Cormac Funge
Dialogue Supervisor
Thomas Jones III
Dialogue Editors
Michael Hertlein
Louis Creveling
Robert Getty
Steve Scoville
David Grant
Sound Effects Editors
Michael Kamper
Aaron Weisblatt
Anne Black
Jed M. Dodge
Alan Freedman
David Lee Fein
S. Diane Marshall
Lucy Sustar
Benjamin Cook
Craig Jurkiewicz
Kirsten Dunst
Torrance Shipman
Eliza Dushku
Missy Pantone
Jesse Bradford
Cliff Pantone
Gabrielle Union
Sherry Hursey
Christine Shipman
Holmes Osborne
Bruce Shipman
Clare Kramer
Nicole Bilderback
Tsianina Joelson
Shamari Fears
Natina Reed
Brandi Williams
Richard Hillman
Lindsay Sloane
Big Red
Nathan West
Rini Bell
Huntley Ritter
Bianca Kajlich
Cody McMains
Justin Shipman
Ian Roberts
Sparky Polastri
David Edwards
Toros tight end
Ashley Howard
Toros quarterback
Nikole Lee Amateau
Clementine Ford
New Pope cheerleaders
Grant Thompson
Costa Mesa quarterback
Leonard Clifton
Costa Mesa linebacker
Marie Wise
argumentative girl
Dru Mouser
been-crying-for-hours girl
Tracy Pacheco
rappin' white girl
Alicia Michelle Sassano
be aggressive girl
Natasha Soll
start-over girl
Ryan Drummond
theatre boy
Paullin Wolfe
Tiny Tot cheerleader
David E. Willis
Beth Lamure
Anne Fletcher
event co-ordinator
Doug Waldo
UCA official
Annie Hinton
high-strung mom
Louise Gallagher
class monitor
Edmond Clay
football announcer
Daniella Kuhn
TV reporter
Aloma Wright
Paul Bloom
TV commentator
Melanie Atmadja
Silencio Por Favor
Jodi Harris
cheer coach
Nectar Rose
nervous cheerleader
Hilary Salvatore
toothless cheerleader
Elizabeth Johnson
confident cheerleader
Riley Smith
guy cheerleader
Carla Mackauf
Aaron's lover
Anna Lisa Mendiola
Clover cheerleader
Entertainment Film Distributors Ltd
tbc feet
tbc minutes
Dolby Digital/DTS/SDDS
Colour by
Last Updated: 20 Dec 2011