Produced by: Touchstone
Reviewed by Ismael Manzano
I went to see Stick it because my wife is a big gymnastics fan. I, while I am not as big a fan, do admire the athletic abilities of gymnasts and looked forward to seeing how this movie represented that skill.
The movie follows Haley Graham (Missy Peregrym of Black Sash), a rebellious, risk-taker who breaks more rules than she follows. Haley has one run-in with the law more than the law is willing to tolerate. Her father makes a deal with the judge to send her to either a Military Academy or an elite gymnastics academy as punishment. Haley is no stranger to the world of gymnastics, having trained professionally for several years. She even made it to The World Champions, when she mysteriously dropped out of the competition just before her final exercise, forfeiting, and ruining any chance her team had to win.
In the world of gymnastics, Haley Graham was a pariah. So itís understandable that Haley almost chose the Military Academy over the gymnastics academy. At the academy, she is harassed by the other gymnasts, chief among them, Joanne Charis (Vanessa Lengies), the classic, intellectually challenged antagonist, and challenged by her new couch Burt Vickerman (Jeff Bridges) who is known more for producing injuries than champions.
Haley rages against what is expected of her, determined not to fall in line or to go back into the world that she had rejected years ago. Eventually, she forms a bond with Vickerman and even makes some friends among the other gymnasts. Her respect for Vickerman leads her to agree to enter the next competition. But can Haley overcome the demons that forced her out of the sport in the first place while rallying behind her teammates to win?
All in all, the movie was a fun, energetic romp, with some annoyingly slow parts in the beginning, but with an overall good story that was different from the norm. I especially loved the ending, which broke all traditions of what a motivational comedy is supposed to be, and made its own niche that I thought saved the movie. If for nothing else, the imaginative, freestyle gymnastics displayed by Wei Wei Young (Nikki Soo Hoo) is worth the price of admission.
For the most part this movie is for younger children or gymnastic fans. Although Peregrym does deliver a great tear-jerking scene, donít expect a lot of depth from this movie. It is pure entertainment, and you should go into the theater expecting nothing more than that. And if you can ignore the psychedelic training montage they threw into the movie for no reason, you might just like this movie. I did.
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