Based on a true story, y’all.
Star runner Derrice Bannock is a hero in Jamaica, but his hopes of running in the Olympics are dashed when he and a fellow runner who goes by the name of Yul Brenner no less are tripped by another competitor named Junior on accident. Derrice refuses to give up his Olympic dream. He recalls that a bobsled coach attempted to court his father, who was also a Jamaican runner, into starting the first Jamaican bobsled team. With help from his friend Sanka, Yul and Junior join up and they manage to go all the way to the Olympics. But can four guys from Jamaica actually compete in winter sports?
Oh, the drama! The suspense! The tension!
Not really. This is a feel-good Disney flick, so it’s chock full of cliches and great life lessons: never give up, always finish, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera (to quote the real Yul Brynner). Somehow the film avoids preaching, which is great and the cast makes it actually a real joy to watch, cliches and all.
Cool Runnings is frivolous fun, one of those movies I watched when I was a kid to pass the time that as an adult I find amusing without being tiring. It’s a sweet film mainly carried through the interactions of the four bobsledders and I imagine partly on my childhood nostalgia to be frank.
What I did not expect was to turn off the movie and feel an odd wistfulness for John Candy, who died quite a while ago and who I realize I miss greatly in films. Candy was a big part of my childhood in the sense that I watched more than a few of his movies, but his salty, cranky sled coach in this movie is a gem. It’s sad that Candy’s no longer around; he was skillfully funny, I now realize, in a way a lot of comedic actors never are. He could also cut it as a “real actor”.
The movie’s a fun piece of feel-good cinema, if you’re into that sort of thing and if you’re not, then you won’t like it in the slightest, I don’t think.