I believe Jump In may have been the first Disney Channel original movie I ever watched ten times all the way through. Can you really blame me? The film stars Corbin Bleu and the Akeelah and the Bee girl playing jump rope. As a 20 year old white American male, a film about urban black youths playing sidewalk games couldn’t have been more perfect for me.
Corbin Bleu if you don’t remember, which you probably shouldn’t because there are more important things to remember, got his start in High School Musical. I think in that Disney Channel original film he dates the only other black girl in the school. It’s not racist though because Vanessa Hudgens is like a mix of everything and she dates Zac Efron who was literally created from the crotch hairs of an Aryan king from Atlantis. Enough about that movie. Let me “jump in”to Jump In a bit more.
Corbin Bleu plays Corbin Bleu as a young boxer. His trainer is his dad, played by Corbin Bleu’s dad, portraying a more abusive version of Corbin Bleu’s dad. At least someone in the family has some range.
Meanwhile on the other side of the street, town, city is Keke Palmer who plays Keke Palmer but she goes by the name Mary. Maybe it’s just me but Mary seems like a poor name for a black girl growing up in this generation. If I was a black mother I would name all of my daughter Oprah and all of my sons Stedman. At least they have two people to strive to be like, a self-made millionaire and a self-made millionaire’s male beard.
Keke Palmer has three friends and they all plan to enter a jump rope competition. One of the friends bails and decides to join the rival team. Short a member, she ends up recruiting Corbin Bleu because boxers are always jumping rope so he’ll probably be good anyway. At first there’s that hack struggle where he doesn’t know if what he’s doing ruins his masculinity or not. Then he is reminded that he was in High School Musical and realizes he’s already lost half the testosterone his body will ever create.
In addition to the mean team of jump ropeists, there is a rival boxer to Corbin Bleu named Rodney. He’s another unoriginal character and it turns out he’s only mean because he’s poor and as we all know, poor black kids are always mean, violent, and insult everybody.
Corbin Bleu’s dad doesn’t really want him to do the jump ropeing because his coworkers already tell him his son is a fag because he sang and danced with Ashley Tisdale. Corbin Bleu isn’t sure what to do so he talks it over with a female boxer who understands his plight about struggling with his sexuality. The female boxer basically tells him to follow his heart which always means in a Disney Channel original movie that they’ll do the most adventurous thing which in this case is to give up years of boxing training to enter a one-time jump rope contest. Way to slap your father in the face Corbin.
Corbin ends up bailing on the boxing thing to meet up with Keke Palmer and join her jump rope team, the Red Hot Chili Steppers. Umm why would black urban youth make a pun based on the Red Hot Chili Peppers for their jump rope team? They could definitely come up with something better. I can’t think of any examples off-hand because I’m white and we’re no good at putting words into black mouths.
After winning the contest everybody gets along. Keke Palmer forgives Corbin Bleu for having to make a tough decision and going with what she wanted him to do all along. Keke Palmer’s dad likes Corbin Bleu now because he saw him get along with the bad kid Rodney which proves he probably wouldn’t leave and make his daughter a baby’s mama. Even Corbin’s dad accepts his choice to jump rope.
We cut away to present day where Rodney is in the gym and this whole movie was being told from his point of view. He tells this story to some youth and they seem to learn a valuable lesson, life is hard and full of decisions and to direct these decisions you should always go without whatever will please the woman you want to have sex with. At least, that’s what I learned from this film.