Monday, 1 August 2011

Cool as Ice - Review

Cool as Ice was released in 1991 as a vehicle intended to launch a film career for Vanilla Ice, instead it almost killed his career.  The film was poorly received and Vanilla Ice wouldn't release another album until 1994 which was poorly received, and he wouldn't start to regain any respect from the industry until his 2001 album.  Though he did retain a loyal fanbase, it was small, but enough for him to keep working until the present day where he has enjoyed something of a nostalgia revival.

Warning, this is a spoiler based review


So, confession time, I actually want to see this movie, I'm something of a closet Vanilla Ice fan and I have wanted to see this movie for some time, so of course I've got to review it.


We open on what I'm guessing they thought would be a big music video for the movie, featuring Naomi Campbell, who'll turn up to the opening of an envelope if you pay her enough.  Also, just in case you weren't sure who the star of the movie was...

Oh, nineties.
The opening sequence is meant to be some sort of dance club, but it's a typical early nineties music video with Naomi Campbell "singing" and Vanilla Ice rapping and dancing.  I know I should be hanging my head in shame at this, but it is entertaining in a very strange way.

I've seen from the title sequence that Michael Gross is in this movie, I'm a big fan of the tremors movies so I'm kinda hoping a Graboid is going to turn up somewhere.

Vanilla Ice, you have got to be shitting me with this hair cut.
At about the five minute mark the music video starts to wind down and we see a blonde lady writing down her phone number for Ice, I guess orange hoodies were what you wore to attract the ladies in the nineties.  Ice gets on his motorbike and is joined by three friends as they take to the open road, implying from a montage that they drive through the night and break several basic bike safety rules

Goddamn it, nineties, even your motorbikes were trying too hard.
Ice sees a lady riding a horsey and decides that the best way to attract her is ride his loud, custom motorcycle right beside her.  She's also not wearing a helmet which means when the horse throws her after being scared by the motorcycle, she can enjoy a long, long, recuperation at the Shady Hills cemetery. 

Ice, somehow, as there is no ramp, jumps over the fence on his bike and of course, the horse scares and the stunt woman jumps off the horse.  Ice comes to see if she's ok, so she hits him and Ice tells her she hits like a girl.  While his friends laugh at him, the girl rides off and Ice declares that she now likes him.

I'm screencapping so much because I'm afraid you won't believe me otherwise.
The guys ride into a town which exists in a universe where Edward Scissorhands' tree trimming business really took off.  One of the guys bike breaks down in the middle of the road, so instead of wheeling it to the side to let the traffic carry on, they all get off their bikes to take a look and argue about who will give lifts.

The camera drives past a load of people who stare with their mouths hanging open, till they arrive at a house which must be screencapped to be believed.

So four guys riding motorbikes are weird, but this house just fits in with the neighbourhood?
A guy runs out of the house and says they're late, it seems he believes they are there to sell their bikes, he calls his wife out who tells him that Ice's bike is worth more than their house.  I didn't realised having a map of the world on your roof lowered your house value that much.  The guys go into the house as the elderly husband and wife study a manual for the bike outside.

Disgusting.  Everyone knows you're supposed to butter the bread because peanut butter is too dry.
So while the guys inside experience the weirdest house I've seen outside of a Tim Burton movie, Ice decides to practise his dance moves outside.  To be fair, you can say what you like about Vanilla Ice, but the guy is a pretty good dancer.  Ice sees the horse riding girl drive past the house in a white convertible and decides to get his stalker on.

The girl, Kathy and her boyfriend argue about going to college as Kathy wants to go to a different college far away and skeezy boyfriend tells her that plenty of girls will be glad to hear if they break up.  Classy.  Kathy decides to think about it, because a boyfriend who uses emotional blackmail to get you to stay with him is a great choice for a young woman.  Enter Ice.

Cool as Ice
Ice flirts awkwardly with Kathy, who kinda sorta flirts back, he decides to start randomly calling her Kat, so she decides it's time to get off the porch before she has to call the police.  Ice tells her where she can find him and as he departs he leaves her with 'words of wisdom', "Drop that zero and get with the hero."  I swear you can see Vanilla Ice laugh as he walks off.

Ice calls her the boyfriend a Dick and Ice decides to return to his biker gang and it turns out he's stolen her address book.  Inside Kat's house, wait, what, why, what?  Why is this happening?  STOP IT, MOVIE!  So, the movie starts fast forwarding itself, I have no idea why, but it's strange and I don't like it.

When that nonsense stops the family sit down to watch a news report about Kat on the tv, at the house of weirdness, they also discover the news report.  At a random bar, a guy who you will recognise from that thing he was in that time also sees the news report, at which point Burt from Tremors is talking about Kat and trying to hide his face so he can pretend he's in a better movie.

If I stare into your soul long enough, you will believe I'm Macaulay Culkin
At Kat's house, Burt gets a silent phone call, then a call from a friend, there is sinister implications afoot, but come on, we're not watching this movie for Burt, where's Vanilla Ice?  Dick decides it's time to go, he's promised Tommy (Kat's little brother) a ride, but is far too busy to do it, so Tommy calls him a dick and then we watch Kat dig through her handbag for a bit, because the movie has nothing better to do.  She realises that her organiser is gone, then realises who has taken it.

Outside the crazy house, it turns out at that crazy old man has literally taken the bike he was supposed to be fixing to pieces and has no idea how to put it back together.  Ice's gang thinks this is hilarious, which it kind of is, you can't shout at Blanche from Grease really can you?

Meanwhile that guy I recognise and his buddy consult a map to looney tunes sound effects, I'm not even kidding.  At the crazy house, Ice has changed clothes and put on a damn shirt and declares he's going across the street to, schling a schlong.  Goddammit, nineties, why are you so stupid?

Oh, Ice, how will Kat ever resist you?
Ice goes knocking on Kat's door and Kathy's mother is suitably unimpressed by Ice's appearance, so Tommy tells Ice she's at the Sugar Shack, helpful little enabler isn't he?  Outside Kat's house the two random bad dudes are waiting outside, not even in their car, but sitting on the bonnet of their car.  Subtle.  Burt sees the guys giving Ice directions and then we cut to the Sugar Shack.

Some band which really can't play their instruments or sing are performing, it's really embarassing.  The gang decides they're going to take over and Ice looks for Kat.  Kat is talking to her friend and Dick comes over to let her know she's a worthless person.  No wonder she sees Ice as a viable option.

The two random bad guys ring the doorbell to Kat's house and string out some dialogue to give some info, Burt's in witness protection and the bad guys want paying off so they won't tell anyone where they are.  At the Sugar Shack, Ice and co unplug the bands sound Ice steals a mic while his friend spins.

If only I was as cool as Ice.
Ice and his friend start dancing and thrusting on the dance floor and Ice starts rapping, Ice is actually a pretty good rapper, but he's nowhere near as talented as Eminem is.  Ice grabs Kat and pulls her onto the dance floor, she tries to leave, but he pulls back and makes her dance with him while Dick scowls on and everyone else looks shocked as he makes physical contact with her and dances suggestively

Kat tells Ice that he has 24 hours to return her organiser or she'll call the cops, then she returns to Dick the abusive boyfriend who literally drags her from the Sugar Shack as he berates her for embarassing him and calls her a slut.  Then he says he's willing to forgive her for being a slut and tries to kiss her, but she pushes him away.

Kat calls him a dick and then walks away as Dick demands that she looks at him.  As she walks home, in the middle of the road, a car follows slowly behind her and she doesn't think to maybe get on the path or anything.  Luckily, Ice pulls up and tells her to get on the bike and he rides her away to safety, or not, since neither of them are wearing a helmet.  He delivers her safely home and Kat mocks Ice's a bit and tells him she's waiting for her organiser.

Inside the house, Burt asks Kat who Ice is, she doesn't know his name, and actually neither do we as it hasn't been said in the movie yet.  Though according to wiki it's Johnny.  Ice returns to the Sugar Shack to see Dick and his friends smashing up a bike with a baseball bat, Ice tells them it's not his bike, it's his home boy's, which is serious business.  Luckily for Ice, Dick and his friends are stupid as even though there are four of them and they all have bats, they attack him one at a time.

Oh, Ice, you're trousers of many colours have charmed me.
Why and how Kat obtained Ice's driver's license is unknown, but this is what we cut to, she hears her parents argue and we get a montage of her listening to them argue.  Then later, after falling asleep, Ice shoves an ice cube in her mouth and tells her to be quiet or she'll wake her parents.  This is the point when you call the police, Kat.

Totally not the behaviour of a crazy person
Ice gives Kat back her organiser and she shows him his ID that she'd stolen and teases him about the phone number we saw from the beginning of the movie, even though he's wearing totally different clothes and that would imply he put the number into his new jacket. 

Kat tells Ice to leave as she wants to get changed, then she thinks it's funny that he won't leave, luckily Tommy comes in and is very happy to see Ice and not at all disturbed to see that his sister was taking her clothes off.  Tommy asks if Ice will take him for a ride after he's finished having sex with his sister, I'm not even being sarcastic there.  Then Ice leaves via the window and runs back to his bike as the sprinklers come on.  Water is the enemy of Ice.

Kat comes out full dressed and gets on the bike, again neither of them are wearing any safety equipment and they ride off into a music montage where they pass both groups of their friends and some random fields, then arrive at a construction site.  Ice awkwardly asks questions about Kat's life and then she asks some back, which he doesn't really answer.

And then a music video where they jump at the camera, because.....
I have no idea why this is happening.  It's intersected with them talking, but it's mostly just random jumping at the camera.  The two kiss and then go stroke a horse in a field, backed to a Vanilla Ice ballad, it's pretty much the stupidest part of the movie I've seen so far.

Ice drops Kat back at home at night and walks her to her door and she gives him a ring, he kisses her but is cockblocked as Burt comes out tell her she was irresponsible for not calling, then accuses him of being with the back guys.  Burt tells Ice to stay away from Kat and Ice leaves.  No climbing through the window, Ice?  Ice returns to the crazy house where Blanche is practising her dance moves.

Pretty, but pretty bad for the fish
Kat is told by Burt about his secret past and real name back when he was a police man and info dumps about the two bad guys and warns Kat to stay away from Ice and dumps some emotional blackmail on her, because she hadn't had enough of that.

The next day Ice comes for Kat, but she tells him to leave her alone, Ice gets all upset and so drives off into another music montage, because it's only been ten minutes since the last one and this upbeat pop number perfectly matches the sad tone of the last scene. 

Kat's friends ask her just who she thinks she is for not calling or going to see Dick in the hospital and let her know that she'll be lucky if he takes her back.  Bitches.  Also none of them are wearing seat belts.  Kat's friends are very unpleasant people.

Tommy comes to see Ice and shows him his new haircut and he's brought a helmet to Ice can take him for a ride.  At least someone in this movie is wearing a helmet.  Also the people at the crazy house dance on the road and attempt to put the bike back together.  Tommy sees Dick on the ride and gives him the finger, then Ice drops Tommy back at his house and Ice tells Tommy he's planning on leaving town as Kat has rejected him.

Ice waits till Tommy goes in the house and then decides to jump in Kat's bedroom window and drops the ring she gave him in the fish bowl.  After Ice leaves the two bad guys come into the house and then chase Tommy through the house on a wide angle lens and to weird sound effects.  Kat returns home seconds later.

Oh fishies, when will I ever find another guy as Cool as Ice?
Kat retrieves her ring and then mopes to the fish whilst Ice's friends tell him it's time to go, but he's too mopey to stand up.  This is all set to a terrible ballad.  Kat's parents return home and ask where Tommy is and they realise that Tommy has been kidnapped.  Ice arrives at the door and picks up a letter he finds on the porch.  I smell a hilarious misunderstanding!

Kat comes to the door and Ice asks if she wants to talk, she doesn't answer so he hands Burt the envelope which has a tape inside.  They play the tape which is a recording of Tommy reading from a scripted message.

Burt blames Ice  and wants to call the police, then Dick arrives at the door and tells them he saw Tommy with Ice and lies by telling them that Tommy looked scared.  Kat defends Ice and Burt goes to call the police, which is interesting because the phone plugged itself back in.  Kat steals the kidnap tape and heads to the crazy house where everyone is chillin'.

What do you want?  I'm being pouty.
Kat asks Ice to listen to the kidnap tape and tells him that Tommy's been kidnapped, the guys listen to it and looked shocked.  Ice noticed a banging noise in the background and realises that Tommy is being held at the construction site, and they drive off but they have trouble finding it.

The two bad guys spot Ice and co arriving, but outside the gang leave because they can't hear the banging noise.  The two bad guys discuss what they are going to do with their money and then Ice crashes through the wall on his bike and then beats up the bad guys.

Back at the crazy house, the police arrive and ask where Ice is, the crazy couple tell the police that he's gone back to college for his chemistry and modern dance exam, but before the police man has chance to see through that clad iron excuse, Ice and co arrive with the bad guys strapped to the bonnet and Tommy safe.

The way to cheat at Ship's Mast.
Burt thanks Ice and shakes his hand and allow Kat to go out with him, Kat gets on Ice's bike in time for Dick to arrive and asks if she likes being a biker chick because she'll never see him or his car again.  Ice drives off, then turns around and jumps over Dick's car and we return to the dance club for another music video montage scene in which there is some funky dancing and even funkier clothes.  I'm joking of course, the clothes are hideous.  This is the last five minutes of the movie.

Summary:

Ok, it was bad.  It was bad in a really enjoyable way though.  The acting is pretty terrible from almost everyone except Burt and Kat.  There's a million and one music montages, ok, maybe 5 or 6 and they take up about 20 minutes of a 90 minute movie (and the credits are about five minutes at the end too.)

Some of the music is actually ok and a little bit catchy, but it's mostly terrible.  The costumes are quite ridiculous, but not beyond the realms of stuff people actually wore in the 90's so I can actually let them off for it.

The plot is actually ok, since it's mostly lifted from the movie Easy Rider, though I have no idea what the random scene that was fast forwarded was all about.

This is one of those, 'It's so bad it's good' movies, though your mileage may vary as some people think it's so bad, it's bad.  Personally though, I enjoyed watching the movie, I got a kick out of it even though it largely made no sense.  If you're a Vanilla Ice fan, or just a fan of Ice, Ice, Baby, it's pretty much a much watch movie.  It's stupid, but entertaining and I can live with that.

6 & 1/2 out of 10

Before anyone asks, yes I have seen the Nostalgia Critic's review of this movie, but it was over a year ago so if I have made any comments similar to those in the critic's review then I apologise, but it was done unintentionally.

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