Combustible Celluloid
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With: Nicholas D'Agosto, Eric Christian Olsen, Sarah Roemer, Molly Sims, David Walton, Philip Baker Hall, John Michael Higgins, Danneel Harris, Adhir Kalyan, AnnaLynne McCord, Juliette Goglia, Smith Cho, Margo Harshman, Hayley Marie Norman, Jake Sandvig
Written by: Freedom Jones
Directed by: Will Gluck
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for crude and sexual content throughout, partial nudity, language and some teen partying
Running Time: 90
Date: 02/20/2009

Fired Up! (2009)

1 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Stand Up and Jeer

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The poster for Fired Up! emphasizes the letters "F" and "U," as if it were almost brave enough to do something dirty. It's a movie about two horny teenage high school football players (played by thirty year-olds) who sneak into cheerleader camp to get laid. But the PG-13 rating that's required to lure in horny teenage boys prevents the characters from saying or doing anything dirty, like taking off their clothes or having sex (in fact, there's arguably more male flesh on display here than female flesh). So the characters instead have to pretend that they're on the cheerleading squad. And thus all the jokes, and the plot, go about halfway, then pull back in shame -- unless they're gay jokes, in which case anything goes. Only Eric Christian Olsen as football captain Nick has enough of a carefree attitude to lighten things up; he's the one that makes a funny face or a snarky comment anytime anyone says or does anything stupid -- which is pretty much all the time -- but even he can't save the entire film. His pal is sensitive Shawn (Nicholas D'Agosto), who has the misfortune to fall in love with his teammate Carly (Sarah Roemer), although there's that pesky lie to contend with -- always revealed sometime at the end of the second act. The third act, of course, is the cheerleading competition, which is mostly dull and character redemption, which is even duller. John Michael Higgins plays the idiot adult character (see Eugene Levy in the American Pie films) and Philip Baker Hall is on hand to say the "sh--" word as often as possible without ruining the rating. TV writer/producer Will Gluck makes his directorial debut here, an inauspicious one to be sure.

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