Yeah, so I was watching Luschino Visconti's The Damned, but it wasn't really holding my interest. So I switched to this gymnastics movie by the director of Bring It On and it was so much more fun! Don't judge me. So I like seeing Jeff Bridges as a gymnastics coach, so what?
As far as these "kid with a bad attitude commits some sort of vandalism and gets forced to go do something which inevitably results in their skill being shown off" movies go, it's definitely better than the first two others that come to mind. Of course, I'm thinking of Step Up and The Fast and the Furious 3: Tokyo Drift so that's not hard. But seriously, they avoid most of the usual problems: the vandalism isn't that bad this time, and it isn't even the main character's fault. This is in stark contrast to, say, Tokyo Drift , where the guy pretty much destroyed an entire housing complex.
Interestingly, the message of this movie was a lot like Pumping Iron II: The Women: Judging is unfair and arbitrary. Although I think the real message, just like with Bring It On, is that it's fun to show characters talking funny ("It's not Gym-nice-tics") and doing things that look really cool on film.
The gymnastics routines do, in fact, look cool. I used to watch a lot of gymnastics, but that was so long ago that I kept thinking that the pommel horse looks weird. But I'm assuming that this is one of those things they changed years ago that I never noticed.
Oh! I like the Missy Elliott song over the opening and closing credits, but I think it's weird that the credited sample is "Apache" by the Sugarhill Gang when it's 99% "Apache" by the Incredible Bongo Band, which is the song that the Sugarhill Gang sampled. I think there's like a tenth of a second of a "Hoooo!" in there from the Sugarhill Gang version. It doesn't really matter; it just seems odd.