Plot: What’s it about?
On the beautiful island of Jamaica, three young men dream of making the Olympic team by winning the 100 meter dash. But their dreams are shattered when one of them trips and falls, knocking the other two down in the process. They watch their Olympic hopes, along with the other racers, pass right by them across the finish line. But one of the runners, Derice (Leon), has too much hope to give up, and he tries to make the games in any sport he can. After speaking with the head of the Olympic committee on the island, Derice learns of a bobsled coach that lives on the island, Irv (John Candy). Derice elicts the help of master pushcart racer Sanka Coffee (Doug E. Fresh), and they slowly convince Irv to help them get to the games. Eventually, they are able to secure two more racers, and is just so happens it’s the other two guys from the 100 meter dash that tripped, Junior (Rawle Lewis) and Yul Brynner (Malik Yoba), and Brynner is still pretty bitter about losing. The rag tag team starts training, but soon they are the object of ridicule, because they are different. Will they ever reach their goal of the Olympics? Will anyone kiss Sanka’s lucky egg?
Cool Runnings is a feel good movie, you know, like Hoosiers or The Mighty Ducks. You put a group of people together that no one has faith in to succeed, and they overhwelm everyone with the amount of heart they possess. True, this type of movie is done too often, but if done right, it can be very entertaining, and Cool Runnings has a good premise and is well written. The very idea, even though this is based on a true story, of a Jamaican bobsled team is pretty funny, and with John Candy as their coach? You know this one is a comedy gold mine. Cool Runnings is totally safe for the kids, with very little in the way of cursing or violence. I know cursing is not a big deal to most of you, but there is one guy out there that it offends, and I put that in there just for him! Being a feel good movie, you might feel like you already know what will happen, but trust me, you just might be suprised by what these men and their coach do in the end.
The cast of Cool Runnings is basically the four bobsledders and their coach, and the casting was great for our main characters. John Candy is classic here (“In bobsledding your bones don’t break. No…they shatter…”) with many memorable lines to keep you chuckling. Candy steals the show, and really brings the movie into focus, and actually shows some really good serious acting as well. The driver of the sled, Derice, is played by Leon (Above The Rim, Waiting To Exhale) to perfection. While the role does not call for any deep development or anything, Leon does breathe life into Derice, making him seem like the natural leader that he is. Also putting on a great performace is the clown of the team, Sanka, as played by Doug E. Fresh. Sanka is hilarious, and keeps the movie moving in some of it’s slower parts. Hey, you need comedy in a comedy, and Fresh delivers. Rounding out the team are decent performances by Rawle Lewis and Malik Yoba.
Cool Runnings is a fun movie to watch, no matter what’s going on in your life. It’s fresh, funny, and light, and I even think it’s inspiring. While it lacks the depth of some movies, this picture is just for fun, and it more than makes for with laughs what it lacks in depth. It has some suprisingly good comedic performances, and warrants at least a rent. And if you are a John Candy fan, this disc is a must have, as well as being a must have for comedy fans as well. So remember, just because this is one of those sappy underdog movies, don’t dismiss it without a chance, because Cool Runnings is more than worth your time.
Video: How does it look?
Well, not a good place to start. The movie seems to be a Laserdisc rehash, like most of the Disney titles, and in some cases that’s good, but not here. The movie has a blurry, hazy look to many scenes, and there is a lot of flecking, all of which could have been fixed with a nice remaster. The picture easily outshines any previous release however, so if you’re a fan, don’t fret.
Audio: How does it sound?
Again, not too good. But Cool Runnings is forgiven here, as the movie does not contain many effects anyway. Dialogue is clear and loud, and when music is present, it sounds full and rich. So while this is not a reference disc, it does not need to be.
Supplements: What are the extras?
You get the original theatrical trailer, and that’s all. But, trailers are good, and I’m glad they gave it to us.