Review Date: November 27, 2002
Director: Christian Duguay
Writer: Michael Zaidan
Producers: Moshe Diamant, Jan Fantl
A TV crew hires a group of extreme sport enthusiasts to shoot over-the-top stunt pieces in the mountains of Austria. While there, the lot run into a wanted criminal, who once recognized, orders them all killed. Extreme sports ensue? Not really...we've seen most of this garbage before.
Consider VERTICAL LIMIT meeting XXX, but without the hip star, the cool one-liners, the major stunt-pieces or the rockin' music. Sound appealing? If so, EXTREME OPS may be exactly what you're looking for if...you're bored at home one night and want to watch 100 minutes of dudes/chicks boarding/skiing down a mountain with very little else to keep you interested. The film also seems to have been shot in a super-hurry. Some of the CGI really sucks (and if we can put a man on the moon, why can't we make fire-ball explosions look friggin' believable in movies already?!?), the soundtrack blows like a hooker in the latter hours of prom night and the ultimate showdown between the "good" and the "bad" guys is resolved quicker than my last blind date. What the hell? The film also spends about 3/4 of its runtime introducing us to its wafer-thin characters, showcasing various over-the-top stunts by the actors...oops, I mean the actors' obvious stunt doubles, and only 20 minutes putting forth some semblance of action/suspense. I actually could have walked out of the theater at about the 1-hour mark and likely lead a fuller life. Devon Sawa is okay, but I had no idea that he now had a side-job as a lumberjack (dude, drop some poundage and start picking good scripts...you're better than this). Bridgette Wilson-Sampras (damn you, Pete!!) is gorgeous, somewhat developed as a character (her one-on-one scene with Sewell is pretty good, although it felt like it belonged in another movie) and is probably the cutest drunk girl in the world!! (call me, I like to drink too) I'm not sure why they included an idiotic scene of her making out with another girl though-especially since they just show her moving toward the girl, pan away, and then pan back when they're done kissing. Huh??? Guys, if you're gonna sell the flick on some lesbo action...for God's sakes...show us the goods!
The rest of the characters were also as "typical" as they come with two of the more annoying ones including a "rebel" girl whose pissed at the world (how original) and a flaky extreme boarder who likes to call people "bitches" and snowboard across bar counter tops, breaking glasses and receiving applause in return (huh???). And those are the good guys! As for the bad guys, they're about as staple as they come, and like I said before, don't really come into play until pretty late in the fourth quarter, by which point, most of the audience is either entranced by the death-defying stunts pulled off by these jokers (but for anyone who's seen any extreme sports show in their lifetime...been there, done that) or wondering what went wrong with Sawa's career after his solid turn in FINAL DESTINATION. The film does feature one pretty cool "suspense" scene near the end though, as a few of the leads hang from an icy ledge, but most of the flick is lame and even includes several strange editing choices, obvious stock footage and blue screen galore...bah! And did I mention that the soundtrack is about as engaging as my right hand on a long weekend? Hip-hop, trip-hop, shit-hop...whatever it was...it sucked hop (where's Rob Zombie when you need him?) Like I said earlier, I can see someone (maybe) enjoying this on a guilty pleasure level at home, drunk, half-naked, snow all around and a fixation on Wilson-Sampras (damn you again, Pete!), but other than that, there's no reason for anyone to invest their hard-earned bucks into a movie that obviously didn't invest much into itself either. Extreme oops?
(c) 2016 Berge Garabedian