Fired Up is one of those movies that sounds like it should have gone direct to video. The story of Shawn and Nick (Nicholas D’Agosto and Eric Christian Olsen) two thick-headed high school football meatheads—their motto is “Leave no girl unturned”—who side step football camp for cheerleader school seems like a perfect fit for the delete bin at your local video store, but despite a goofy premise and even goofier performances the movie skids by on its own inane charm.
It’s the evolution of the Beach Party movie. The cheerleading ruse is just an excuse to showcase hard-bodied girls and nearly naked men to keep up visual interest while everyone else cracks wise. On that score it’s a movie that carpet bombs the audience with jokes, firing off round after round of gags and slapstick pratfalls. Most of them misfire, but the ones that do land will raise a smile from all but the grumpiest of viewers. I
It’s a hit and miss affair that knows no limits—whether it’s the guys using their patented Vince Vaughn-style patter, or making crude jokes about anal beads or showing an overweight man feed his bellybutton a Twinkie. It tries for the inspired, unbridled silliness of Old School but lacks the kind of heartfelt mania that Will Ferrell brought to that movie.
On the downside the endless “catchy” lingo grates after a while. If there was a drinking game where you had to take a swig every time one of the characters said “You gotta risk it to get the biscuit,” you’d be more wasted than a cheerleader on a Mike’s Hard Lemonade binge by the end of the movie’s 90 minute running time.
Despite that Fired Up is a good Saturday afternoon matinee diversion, a cheerleader movie with a twist that isn’t afraid to be really silly.