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Fired Up mostly fired down

BY REBECCA KOONS | FEBRUARY 23, 2009 7:30 AM

Film Review: Fired Up
*** out of *****

The past few years of cinematic history have seen an onslaught of over-the-top, outrageously funny sex comedies, along the likes of Knocked Up and Superbad. The trailers for Fired Up indicate to eager audiences that they are in for more of the same — and boy, are they wrong.

Fired Up tells the completely unrealistic tale of two jocks, Shawn Colfax (Nicholas D’Agosto) and Nick Brady (Eric Christian Olsen), who are almost too witty for their own good. This dynamic duo are famous for their womanizing ways, with the power to quite literally charm the skirt off any girl they encounter. By summer, the boys are faced with two weeks of football camp. These guys have other plans, however — they decide to instead crash a cheer camp in the hopes of taking their collective “game” to the next level. Gee, boys, I didn’t think you could get any smarter.

As much of a surprise as it may be, the rest of the film stops at nothing to provide the viewer with nearly every teen-sex-comedy cliché at its disposal, which viewers should expect upon entering the theater. It sucks to be able to sum up the rest of the movie in a nutshell, but here goes: boy (Shawn) meets girl (Carly, played by Sarah Roemer), boy falls in love but girl is already taken by a jerk (of course), boy has second thoughts about cheerleader fun-fest, drama ensues, and he wins her over. That’s all, folks!

Fired Up’s by-the-book plot doesn’t completely do the movie justice. The cast itself has some genuinely funny characters. That our two favorite meatheads do share a great deal of wit and back-and-forth brotherly sparring saves Fired Up from total teen-flick damnation. Also, cheer camp director coach Keith (John Michael Higgins), who many remember as the hysterical a cappella maestro in 2006’s The Break Up, elicits laughs simply with his presence. The line referencing his exit from the womb “spirit fingers” first is an added bonus.

Quite possibly the comedic underdog of Fired Up is Poppy (Juliette Goglia), the young firecracker with a darker side likened to that of a miniature mobster. Poppy takes care of business, doesn’t take shit from anyone, and yet is kind enough to help Shawn and Nick on their epic quest. Her snappy one-liners take this film up a notch at just the right moments, which it so desperately needs throughout.

Oscar-worthy it is not, but Fired Up is sure to become a guilty pleasure for many. Don’t worry, Toros, Kirsten Dunst’s role as America’s favorite on-screen spirit queen is safe.


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