Thu, Feb 19, 2009 (midnight)
Loud, aggressive, desperately ribald and pathetically unfunny, Fired Up lives down to every expectation you might have for a film produced under the aegis of Maxim magazine. (And as with Maxim, you mostly just get teased—the rating here is PG-13.) Its pretext for nonstop semi-exposed teenage girlflesh involves a summer cheerleading camp infiltrated by two perpetually randy high-school football stars, Shawn (D’Agosto) and Nick (Olsen), who figure that being surrounded by dozens of overexcited and flexible babes will be a lot more fun than sweltering in helmets and shoulder pads all summer. But despite the tame make-out montage that swiftly follows their arrival, both boys wind up pursuing more challenging prospects: Nick sets his sights on the adult wife (Molly Sims) of the camp’s coach (Christopher Guest regular John Michael Higgins, trying so very hard to mine laughs from thin air), while Shawn falls for squad leader Carly (Roemer), who is somehow, improbably, the only female in all of Texas or Illinois who sees through his tired, charmless game.
That these two clueless horndogs will learn a little something about respect for women and the value of rah-rah is a given, but is it too much to ask for a modicum of wit along the way? Credited to one Freedom Jones (yeah, right), the screenplay amounts to little more than a catalog of glib pop-culture references and tortured sexual innuendo—you could derive an entire dictionary of euphemisms for coitus and genitalia from the dialogue. And while Carly is meant to act as face-saving counterpoint, the film’s overall depiction of young women as brainless, gullible sluts-in-training—did I mention that Maxim was involved?—verges on the actionably offensive. (Let’s not even get into the homophobia.) Fired Up even has a credo of sorts, one that epitomizes its smug, uncharitable worldview: “Be a cocky asshole.” Okay, fine: If I were gonna make a teen comedy this ugly and brain-dead, I’d at least have the good sense not to include a clip from Bring It On, thereby reminding the audience what “humor” looks like.