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I was a cheerleader in high school, so I’m a sucker for any film where guys and gals clap, stomp and yell in unison. And since I’ve watched the other two spin-offs from the Bring It On franchise, watching Bring It On: In It to Win It, seemed like a no brainer, which is good, because you certainly don’t need a lot of brains to get through this version. 

West Coast Sharks cheerleading squad, led by Carson (Ashley Benson), have been hating on the East Coast Jets for years. Under the bi-otchy leadership of Brooke (Jennifer Tisdale), the Jets have beaten the Sharks repeatedly in competition at Camp Spirit-Thunder. The Sharks are determined to take the crown this year, that is until Carson falls for the mysteriously handsome Penn, who of course, turns out to be a Jet. (It was just about now that I got the West Side Story reference. Just to hit the point home, the movie has a all-out dance number that vaguely resembles WWS’s gang dance street rumble.) 

Carson and Penn can’t deny their attraction and start sneaking around, which leads to the disappearance of the camp’s spirit stick, bringing bad luck to both teams. Suddenly, arch enemies have to band together if there’s any chance of them taking down a rival cheer camp and the Flamingos, which have truly perfected the art of Ariel tumbling.  Sure, the plot is flimsy and the musical numbers are cheesy. But the most important element of the movie is still crystal clear, and that’s the cheering. Three are some really great moves, including a cool double flip execution that deserves to been seen. The movie also takes place in a sunny locale, which is great to see if you’re freezing up north like I’ve been the past for days. 

Break out those poms-poms and give it a cheer. 

Bring It on: In It to Win It airs Sunday, Jan. 20 at 8 p.m. on ABC Family.

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