Undercover Cheerleader (2019 Lifetime)
Synopsis (via Lifetime)
Autumn (Kayla Wallace, The Good Doctor), is a beautiful transfer student who goes undercover as a cheerleader to do an exposé on the cruel culture of the squad for her school newspaper. But when someone begins viciously attacking cheerleaders, she starts to fear for her own life. Panic-stricken, Autumn never expected that her confidential journalism mission would lead to a fight for her life. Additional stars include Maddie Phillips (Ghost Wars) and Andre Anthony (Victoria Gotti: My Father’s Daughter)
Autumn and her mom recently moved from NYC for a job opportunity. She lost her father to a heart attack and is trying to move on. Maybe her new school will have a dance team… nope, cheerleading is what they got. It is the same cliques’ different school. Autumn gets partnered up with Kara, who will show her around the school and who also works for the school paper.
Jenny and Heidi, the cheerleaders, try to recruit Autumn. Still, she isn’t into it until Kara and her friend Maa pitch a story idea. Autumn would go undercover to expose hazing and the hidden secrets of the team. Autumn thinks that cheerleading can’t be that hard and decides to try out and makes the squad-based solely on her herky!!!!
Jordan, a boy who looks straight out of 1997, tells Autumn that she did great and follows her on fake Instagram.
Practice starts immediately because this team is about hard work. The squad are state champions and have a legacy. The coach gives a speech and then hands out weight requirements, dress code, and team diet. Megan, one of the only two POCs on the team, is put on probation because she needs to lose five pounds.
Kara, Max, and Autumn meet and agree to comply after school hours only. Autumn will be going undercover! Autumn has to pretend to live and breathe cheerleading, so she is not caught. It is very mean girls but poorly written and acted.
Autumn’s story comes out, and the cheerleaders are freakout because everyone knows they take laxatives and aren’t naturally skinny. Autumn lives the double life and reaps the benefits. She goes to a drive-through movie with Jordan and his friends. They all tell Jenny that she is a kind of evil, and Jenny only cares about taking a selfie.
Coach Dot is pissed about the school story article and takes it all out on Megan. (Probably because she is racist.) Coach makes Megan do a complicated tumble combo to prove a point about her weight. Megan cartwheels off-camera, and we hear a lot of bones cracking while the cheerleading team looks on in horror.
In the hospital, Megan is in bad shape but awake. She and Autumn learn that no one but the principle and Jenny like Coach Dot, the rest of the team is not on board. They decided to throw a fundraiser to help pay for Megan’s medical costs. Kara and Max are a little jealous that Autumn is bonding with the squad. When Autumn learns this, she invites them to the party too.
Autumn tells Kara about having doubts about writing more articles, but Kara convinces Autumn to keep at it. The next column is even more sensational, and Jenny is pissed that people are talking about Coach Dot. Everyone is saying she is terrible; also, she is. Jenny thinks that Samantha (Another POC on the squad) is the leak. She takes matters into her own hands and orchestrates someone to attack Samantha with a knife and tell her to stop writing articles.
Kara wants to shut down the undercover investigation, and Autumn insists that she will be careful.
Coach Dot and the principle supervise practices now. Jenny wants to lead trainings, but they take it to a vote, and Heidi gets to lead the practice.
At the party, (Where the music mixing is too loud, and I can’t hear the dialogue.) Autumn and Jordan makeout and admit that they like one another. At the end of the night, Jordan offers to give Heidi a ride. She declines because he drives a motorcycle, but that is too dangerous for her. What is also too risky is walking home, she gets run down and killed… by a motorcycle.
Autumn gets in trouble with her mom for throwing the party, oh, and for allowing a murder to happen. Autumn can’t keep the secret anymore and tells Jordan that she is the undercover cheerleader. Jordan is into it and kind of turned on. Autumn asks Jordan to help him figure out who the murder is. They decide to investigate and are all angsty, but not in a good way.
Investigating doesn’t take too long, thank God. Jenny’s boyfriend did it all, and it was because Coach Dot told him to do it, or she would take him off the football team. When he goes to show Autumn what he learned, Autumn thinks that Jordan is the REAL culprit because his bike is missing a mirror. She goes to the police (finally) and avoids Jordan.
Kara and Autumn have tea, and she cries about her boyfriend being the murder. The police clear Jordan, his bike was stolen. Jordan calls Autumn to tell her who the real killer is, but it is too late. Autumn has been roofied by… KARA! (I should have seen this twist coming.)
Kara did it all to get revenge on Jenny. She ties Autumn up in the basement, and Jordan rushes to her rescue. He gets sidetracked when he finds Max knocked out at Kara’s house. Autumn is left to her own devices and unties herself. The girls’ have a knockdown, drag-out fight. Autumn is almost strangled to death but is saved by her mother with a shovel.
Autumn and her mother talk about being an undercover cheerleader and about Autumn’s new boyfriend, Jordan!
6 months later, Capitan Autumn is running her own tryouts with a new coach… coach Samantha! They are going to go for nationals this year and focus on inclusivity… expect for Jenny who they have relegated to water girl.
The movie ends with a cheer routine, which I appreciated. It isn’t enough to save this movie from being hot garbage.
The whole murder mystery thing did not work for me. Mainly because this movie was mostly ambient noise and moodiness.
Minority Report: Megan, Samantha, Detective,
🔪 (1 Knife)
🍷🍷🍷🍷🍷 (5 glasses of wine required)
*Photo Credit: © 2019 Lifetime