Rebellious 17-year old Haley Graham (Missy Peregrym) is a natural athlete who seems to be more interested in hanging with her skater punk friends, listening to thrasher music and causing trouble than competing in gymnastics. But after her latest run-in with the law, a judge sentences Haley to her ultimate nightmare—attending an elite gymnastics academy run by legendary hardnosed coach Burt Vickerman (Jeff Bridges). However, when her own competitive aspirations and rivalries begin to surface, Haley must choose between personal glory and the loyalty and friendship of her new teammates.
This film has some good things going for it. The story of young Haley Graham’s turn-around from rebel to team player is a timely story and shows character development. Her relationship with her coach is ultimately a source of satisfaction as she learns he really wants to help her. This story also shows the hardships of living in the “real world” of gymnastics. To the film’s credit, there is some good acting from Jeff Bridges, Missy Peregrym (Haley) and newcomer Maddy Curley (Mina). Maddy impressed me with her hilarious look of unbelief in one scene, and then in her scene when the tears come when she is unfairly judged for her vault. She is one to keep an eye on. Sadly, the bad news is the film does have a lot of crude language, and Dove does not approve films which use the name of Jesus or God in a vain way. Unfortunately, Jeff Bridge’s character of Coach Burt Vickerman does this and so we are unable to award this film our Dove seal. This film is definitely geared toward twelve and up. Sure wish that one word had been edited for the final cut.