After a brush with the law, a teenage girl is sent back to the hardcore gymnastics school she left years before. After enough arab springs, she starts to feel something like team spirit.
Empire will give anything with Jeff Bridges in it a fair shake, but he’s pushing it with this gymnastics flick. Written and directed by Jessica Bendinger, who penned the delicious Bring It On, this is hyperactive teen angst uplift-a-rama without an ounce of the wit and charm that made her cheerleader flick so easy to like.
Bridges, looking a little less embarrassed than he might, plays stereotypical gruff coach Burt Vickerman, tough love mentor to Missy Peregrym’s delinquent gymnastics prodigy — a straight lift of The Bad News Bears’ Kelly Leak — who must conquer her own bad attitude and the enmity of her team-mates to learn a valuable lesson about yadda, yadda, yadda. There are a couple of good lines — “They don’t call it gym-nice-tics” — but it’s far from a perfect ten.
The script fights well against the cliche-ridden plot but this is very average all round.