Raising the Bar (2016) Kelli Berglund, Peta Shannon, Lili Karamalikis, Tess Fowler Movie Review

Raising the Bar (2016)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Kelli Berglund in Raising the Bar (2016)

Changing the Bar

Having been part of an elite gymnastics program, 16 year old Kelly Johnson (Kelli Berglund) quits the sport and with her mum, Sarah (Peta Shannon), relocates to Australia, which for Sarah means starting at a new school, making new friends, a few rivals and even some romance. It is for those reasons Kelly decides to take up gymnastics again and not only helping her to make new friends but also confront the demons which caused her to quit gymnastics, including an old rival.

Are you a teenage girl with a love of gymnastics? If the answer is yes then the chances are you might enjoy "Raising the Bar" as that is what this movie is about. As such we get various scenes of gymnastics and some cliche typical teen girl elements, such as a scene where Kelly makes a new best friend in Nicola and they become inseparable. And with this being a movie about the new girl in school there is the cliche handsome guy she crushes on the minute she meet him. And I would imagine a teenage girl who is a keen gymnast might enjoy all of this.

But the thing is that if you are not in the target demographic for "Raising the Bar" then to be honest the movie feels like it is an update on some cliches which have been explored before such as the former sports person who quit when something didn't go well but is persuaded to return to the sport. Throw in all those teenage elements from missing old friends, making new friends and of course peer pressure and there is a sense of deja vu to "Raising the Bar", just with it being updated to include things such as Kelly spending her free time on social networks.

What this all boils down to is that "Raising the Bar" is a solid and typical teen sporting drama which reworks ideas which have been covered before using other sports. And to be honest for the right audience I can see how it would work but for anyone else who isn't a teenage girl who loves gymnastics then it is short on entertainment.