Like my book reviews site, these are movie reviews I write for entertainment purposes only. These are just my reviews and my opinions. They are not endorsed by Blogger or any movie studios or anyone else. So there. I borrowed my scoring system from the Metacritic site, which does not imply an endorsement from them, although I think they do have a very nice website. I convert the 1-100 scores into 1-4 stars, essentially it works like this:

1 star = 25 points
2 stars = 50 points
3 stars = 75 points
4 stars = 100 points

And then if something falls about halfway between, then I'll give it an added half-star.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Whip It!

The easy way to describe this movie is that it's "The Mighty Ducks" with an X-Games attitude and a healthy dose of Girl Power!  Instead of hockey--or baseball, basketball, football, or some other mainstream sport--it focuses on roller derby in Texas.  Of course roller derby was popular in the '70s but a small league still exists in the '00s in Austin.  There are five teams of women who bump and push in order to allow the "jammer" to pass the pack and score points.  (That's really all I need to say about the rules since the roller derby isn't important to the story.)

Basically this could have been any sport, as it follows the pretty standard formula of a teenage girl defying her parents to do what she wants to do.  Bliss (Ellen Page, with the same snarky attitude and vintage rock T-shirts so that she's basically Juno on skates) is 17 and living in a small Texas town, where her mom enrolls her and her younger sister in beauty pageants while her father sits at home watching football.  Bliss hates the pageants while her sister loves them.

Then while shopping in Austin she sees a flier for roller derby and decides to go with her best friend Pash to watch the game.  She decides she loves roller derby and decides to try out.  Except that she hasn't skated since she wore pink Barbie skates.  You have to suspend disbelief in that she goes from barely being able to skate to being the fastest on the track.

She gets drafted onto the "Hurl Scouts" who are of course the last place team of not-so-lovable losers like the Mighty Ducks, Bad News Bears, and so forth.  You should already know what's going to happen there.  It should also come as no surprise that she meets a handsome boy (pop singer Landon Pigg) and falls in love.

Basically there aren't any real shocks in this movie, just a couple of mild surprises.  As I said, it could have been about any sport instead of roller derby.  And really it probably has been about any sport in movies from the "Bad News Bears" to "Bend It Like Beckham."  There's really not much more to say than that.  It's an OK movie for a rental, but it's not memorable.

(On a sexist note, for guys there are a lot of women but no nudity or anything.  Not that you're into that sort of thing...)

BTW, this like "Gran Torino" was one of the first major movies to be filmed on location in Michigan, which is one of the reasons I rented it.  Woo hoo!

That is all.

My score:  62/100 (2.5 stars)

Metacritic score:  67/100 (2.5 stars)

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