The movie is interesting in that it explores class and race relations, though with perhaps limited resources. The students at RCHS are all from affluent backgrounds and are college bound. They can afford to spend a great deal of time and resources on cheerleading. On the other hand, the students from East Compton do not have this sort of resource. Race and class are conflated in this story, as there is only one any student of color on the RCHS team (an Asian American), and the East Compton team is made up entirely of African American and Latin(o/a) cheerleaders. Interestingly, the East Compton team is the Clovers, possibly stemming from a time when it was a largely Irish area that underwent a population shift, though this is only conjuncture on my part.
This movie also has an odd mix of homophobia and tolerance. While the team accepted their gay member, played by Huntley Ritter, other still reacted quite defensively whenever they were accused of being gay or lesbian. Additionally, some of the cheerleaders want to turn away Dushku because she appears to be an "uber-dyke." There appears to be an odd mix of gender and sexuality politics at play throughout the movie, such that it's hard to tell if the movie falls on the favorable or unfavorable side.
One of the things I think that makes this movie most satisfying for me is that in the end, they main characters do not come in first. But that's okay for them, and it's okay for the audience as well. Too many movies have the main characters beating the odds or winning for no apparent reason. Or they have couples that should be together getting together. It's nice to see a movie where the expected outcome is not what takes place and is still perfectly acceptable, and even preferable. That said, I do think the routine done by the Toros was better than that done by the Clovers, but I wasn't the fake judges.
1. Not really a thousand, but at least three so far: Bring It On Again, Bring It On: All or Nothing, and Bring It On: In It to Win It.
2. If I remember my Spanish correctly, they go to Meat Ranch HS. Now, this could be a statement on their meat-like qualities. Cheerleaders are often considered pieces of them... Or it could just be a joke, as their mascot is the Toros, or the bull.