Fired Up! (Movie Review)

Fired Up!

I think there's something wrong with me. Perhaps there's something in my Altoids that's making me nicer or more generous in reviews, but whatever the reason, I've seen a bunch of movies that by any standard should be deemed terrible, and yet I can't bring myself to crucify them. Maybe the typical winter cinema drought has lowered my standards, or maybe I'm too obsessed with a crappy film's silver linings that I'm deluding myself into thinking I don't throw away $10 per week on celluloid dross. Whatever the reason is, I actually quite enjoyed Fired Up!, and that is reason enough to devote this introduction to some light introspection.

Fired Up! is the story of two high school football jocks who suddenly discover there's something homoerotic about a bunch of muscularly headstrong men climbing over each for sport. When they realize their summer football camp will be in a hotter, sweatier place than they had anticipated, they agree that cheer camp is a better idea instead. And who can blame them? Would you rather spend your summer with a pack of grunting knuckleheads or hundreds of the hottest, fittest girls you've ever seen? Exactly.

Despite the title of the film being an obvious acronym for a common expletive phrase, Fired Up! is strictly PG13. The most offensive expletive is "shit," and even then the word is used sparingly. Clothes get taken off frequently, but there's never any nudity, any of the vulgar dialogue is often supplanted with weird gibberish that has a sort of bizarre charm to it, lewd behaviour is often implied and not overtly displayed, etc. Don't misunderstand me, the core of Fired Up! might as well be a Tucker Max story adapted by Kevin Smith, but the vulgarity is toned down so much that it becomes strangely appealing. The reason for this is obvious: an R rating limits the potential audience which in turn cuts profit. Scale the content back far enough, secure the PG13 label, and you just tripled your potential sales.

image

Actual dialogue:
"Did one of us tap that yet?"
"Nah, she respects herself too much. Who wants to deal with that drama?"

So the story is by the numbers and entirely predictable. The cheerleading squad that wears matching black totalitarian uniforms, yeah, those are the evil guys. How will our underdogs overcome their rivals? Why, by performing the impossibly difficult "Fountain of Troy" cheer manoeuvre that's been explicitly forbade by the camp coaches, of course! Though it's worth pointing out that our heroes aren't looking for the gold so much as they just want to get out of last place, not at all unlike how the movie itself isn't looking to be Citizen Kane (or even Bring It On) so much as it just wants to be a decent time. And you know what? I applaud that. The only ambition of Fired Up! is to kill time, and no other Winter release has done so as effectively as it has.

What I did like about Fired Up! was the friendship between the two leads, Nick and Shawn (Eric Christian Olsen and Nicholas D'Agosto), starring in their very own 90 minute long "Axe" commercial. You know how in most buddy films there has to be a plot point that drives the two protagonists apart before they eventually reunite and triumph together? That never happens to Shawn and Nick. The friendship these two characters share is rock solid. They always have each others back in both success and failure, and I quite enjoyed that fact. It's refreshing to see at least one novel idea present in what could otherwise be easily written off as midwinter tripe, so I'm at the very least thankful for that.

But alas, in the end Fired Up! isn't a good movie, let alone a great one. It gets a mild recommendation because it's a success unto itself. Just don't ask for much else, and you'll be fine.

Note: Many people probably don't know who Tucker Max is. Here is website. Prepare to die of laughter.

Oh yeah, I really want to watch two shithead football players go to a cheerleading camp and get all the sex they don't deserve. And beat some other cheer squad in the end. OH HELL YEAH...

Movies like this and Bring It On have at least one redeeming feature - the multitudes of young ladies are very easy on the eyes...

Hmm. If I happen to see this on Comedy Central in a few years... I probably won't change the channel...

my friend was in bring it on

Maet:

Note: Many people probably don't know who Tucker Max is. Here is website. Prepare to die of laughter.

You lied to me, that wasn't funny at all.
Crude, gross, and unsettling, but not funny.

I didn't bother to read it or click the link because I don't condone porno when I have something called an IMAGINATION.

ThaBenMan:
Movies like this and Bring It On have at least one redeeming feature - the multitudes of young ladies are very easy on the eyes...

Before I saw Fired Up!, I would've agreed. I'm not saying I was turned off my the frankly staggering number of hotties from all races (I was honestly surprised to see hot African, Indian, and Asian girls present. I was expecting nothing but whites), but by the fact there were men well into old age that were into it too. Most of the girls are *ahem* actresses in their early twenties, but that's still a third of the age of a few people in the theater. That's incredibly unsettling and creepy. It made me take a brief moment to ponder if movies like these breed sexual predators, but I left out such musings from the review.

PayNSprayBandit:
You lied to me, that wasn't funny at all.
Crude, gross, and unsettling, but not funny.

Say what you want, but his stories are the funniest exploits I've ever read. "The Austin Road Trip" is a magical odyssey as far as I'm concerned. I guess you just have to be into that sort of stuff.

Gerazzi:
I didn't bother to read it or click the link because I don't condone porno when I have something called an IMAGINATION.

It's not really porno...

Anywho, short but sweet review, Maet, though I suppose there wasn't much to say about such a simple movie.
My opinion on the movie?

Hunde Des Krieg:
Oh yeah, I really want to watch two shithead football players go to a cheerleading camp and get all the sex they don't deserve. And beat some other cheer squad in the end. OH HELL YEAH...

That.

Hunde Des Krieg:
Oh yeah, I really want to watch two shithead football players go to a cheerleading camp and get all the sex they don't deserve. And beat some other cheer squad in the end. OH HELL YEAH...

Wow, my sentiments exactly. I don't think there is any way I could have said it better.

I refuse to acknowledge a teen sex comedy and a PG-13 movie. If I'm getting this right, and correct me if I'm wrong, that's exactly what this movie is: a teen sex comedy without the sex.

This isn't the only movie that has rode the lack of an R rating to creative failure. "Dude where's my car" was a stoner comedy without the drugs. I wouldn't watch a PG-13 slasher movie(Friday the PG-13th) or an R rated porno. (Not a joke: The blockbuster cut of "Pirates XXX")

Maet:

The reason for this is obvious: an R rating limits the potential audience which in turn cuts profit. Scale the content back far enough, secure the PG13 label, and you just tripled your potential sales.

And for those that think PG-13 comedies that should be R-rated make good business sense look at the following courtesy of box office mojo

Dude where's my car(p-g13 stoner comedy): 47 million domestic gross/73 million worldwide
Pineaple express(r-rated stoner comedy): 87 million domestic/102 million worldwide

fired up(pg-13 sex comedy): 14 million domestic so far(week 3)/20 million dollar budget FLOP
american pie(r-rated sex comedy): 65 million domestic at (week 3)/11 million dollar budget HIT

dcheppy:

Maet:

The reason for this is obvious: an R rating limits the potential audience which in turn cuts profit. Scale the content back far enough, secure the PG13 label, and you just tripled your potential sales.

And for those that think PG-13 comedies that should be R-rated make good business sense look at the following courtesy of box office mojo

Dude where's my car(p-g13 stoner comedy): 47 million domestic gross/73 million worldwide
Pineaple express(r-rated stoner comedy): 87 million domestic/102 million worldwide

fired up(pg-13 sex comedy): 14 million domestic so far(week 3)/20 million dollar budget FLOP
american pie(r-rated sex comedy): 65 million domestic at (week 3)/11 million dollar budget HIT

Keyword in my quote would be "potential." Although it is a curious irony. Explicit material is tantalizing enough for repeat or wider business but normally it's only tantalizing for the crowd that's too young to get in. The logic is sound: bigger potential audience (PG13) = more money/smaller potential audience (R/18A) = less money. But the material in the R-Rated cut is usually more impressive and more likely to get repeat business.

I'm no economist, but if you adjust for inflation, wouldn't the budgets for American Pie and Fired Up! be rather similar? And then you also have to consider successful marketing, the people involved, the "credibility" of the project, etc.

Come to think of it, it really doesn't matter. Superbad had an identical budget, R rating, killer haul (~$170M), similar premise and audience, and beat Fired Up! in every way.

Maet:

Keyword in my quote would be "potential." Although it is a curious irony. Explicit material is tantalizing enough for repeat or wider business but normally it's only tantalizing for the crowd that's too young to get in. The logic is sound: bigger potential audience (PG13) = more money/smaller potential audience (R/18A) = less money. But the material in the R-Rated cut is usually more impressive and more likely to get repeat business.

I'm no economist, but if you adjust for inflation, wouldn't the budgets for American Pie and Fired Up! be rather similar? And then you also have to consider successful marketing, the people involved, the "credibility" of the project, etc.

Come to think of it, it really doesn't matter. Superbad had an identical budget, R rating, killer haul (~$170M), similar premise and audience, and beat Fired Up! in every way.

There is a certain logic, and there is a lot of money to made from the PG-13 comedy, and I admit I left out certain variables in comparing the movies, but the fact is when your premise relies on an R rating(drugs/sex) but you go PG-13 anyways you take away part of the major selling points of the movie.(Tits/dirty jokes etc...) The only thing left to sell the movie is the quality of the film, which also suffers. But even a bad R-rated comedy can sell the audience on no holds barred gross out gags and tits.

It'll be interesting to see how Miss March fares, which looks to be of a similar bad quality and has a strikingly similar marketing campaign. Both are to be released in the same crappy season and both have essentially unknown leads. The only discernible difference is the R-rating.

dcheppy:
It'll be interesting to see how Miss March fares, which looks to be of a similar bad quality and has a strikingly similar marketing campaign. Both are to be released in the same crappy season and both have essentially unknown leads. The only discernible difference is the R-rating.

I doubt I'll see Miss March unless I'm really desperate, especially when Adventureland is just around the bend. Between Miss March, Race To Witch Mountain, and Last House on the Left (movies opening Friday), I'm strangely more inclined to watch Race To Witch Mountain because I find Dwayne Johnson's career moves to be rather intriguing.

Maet:

I doubt I'll see Miss March unless I'm really desperate, especially when Adventureland is just around the bend. Between Miss March, Race To Witch Mountain, and Last House on the Left (movies opening Friday), I'm strangely more inclined to watch Race To Witch Mountain because I find Dwayne Johnson's career moves to be rather intriguing.

I think the Rock has been close to brilliant in managing in his carreer. His only misfires are Doom and Southland Tales(which doesn't really count since it only ran in 63 theaters) His biggest success at headlining a movie(I don't count hopping on to an already successful Mummy franchise headlining) came with family friendly Disney fare, "The Game Plan" (148 million worldwide, 91 million domestic) Escape to Witch mountain is very similar, and a logical follow up to "The Game Plan" Being the Disney action guy is a very lucrative way to be typecast, and fits his range well. The Rock is smart enough to know playing outside his ability is a quick way to derail his successful career.

After Vin Diesel decided to tackle more serious affairs after ditching successful franchises XXX and Fast & Furious, he has failed to successfully headline any movie(exception: family friendly Disney fare, Pacifeir), including the mindless action movies he made his name on, and get's less work then The Rock. And now the Rock is taking over the Disney work too.

I wonder if the Rock decides to get greedy and try for more challenging roles in the future. If he does, I bet we see a lot less of him in the future.

 

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