Peyton Reed’s 2000 cheer classic Bring It On doesn’t shy away from the spotlight. Rather than skirting class tensions and racial divides, the film pushes buttons and makes things uncomfortable; it lays these issues bare and confronts them pompom-on in a series of cheerleading showdowns. The girls of Bring It On are mean, cool, and feisty; they embody the catty stereotype, but are still very much aware of the inequities of power and privilege that inform their respective statuses in high school and the world. The unrestrained and infectiously energetic performances from Kirsten Dunst and Gabrielle Union will have you cheering in your seat, and might even get you hooked on the entire Bring It On franchise (Solange and Rihanna — need we say more?). Highlighting the downfalls of white privilege and cultural appropriation with bold statements about the ways in which young Black women are both influential and overlooked, Bring It On strikes an astonishing balance between being superficial and super-woke.
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