Sanka Coffie: Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up, its bobsled time! COOL RUNNINGS!
In the spirit of the Olympic games, I'll review one of my favorite sports movies. Every time I watch it I have myself a good time. It's funny, has a nice sports story to tell, and John Candy.
I'm not a big fan of sports movies. The only ones I like are the ones that offer something different than the standard mold. Besides what I mentioned above, this movie manages both to be a Disney comedy and one with good development and resolution to its story. There may be other movies that have handled this premise better, but to me, this just has the appeal that keeps me always enjoying it.
The story involves a group of guys from Jamaica who have lost their chance to compete in the summer Olympics as sprinters. Their solution is to recruit a former bobsled coach, played by John Candy, living on the island to coach them into being the first Jamaican bobsled team. The coach, Irv Blitzer, was once a great man, who believed that sprinters would make great bobsledders, but never got a chance to prove this point after being caught cheating decades prior. Now he has a second chance to help these Jamaicans make a name for themselves and their country.
Irv: Oh, yeah, just one little drawback to this delightful winter sport. The high-speed crash. Ooh! That hurt. Always remember, your bones will not break in a bobsled. No, no, no. They shatter.
After a montage of them getting better in practice runs, the team heads to Canada to compete. There they are given a hard time due to the Blitzer's past and the other countries mockery of Jamaica. Of course the film goes on to show them becoming more respected and growing together as a team.
This is the kind of movie that follows all conventions for the most part, but the chemistry between the lead characters, complete with development between the individuals and how they bond, as well as the comeback story for Candy's character turn this into a solid film. Sure, it is a PG Disney film, but its presented in a confident manner that lets it earn its few dramatic beats, despite the fact that it is a comedy.
Its funny, memorable, and well made. Always a delight to watch.
Sanka Coffie: I'm the driver.
Irv: You're not. You're the brakeman.
Sanka Coffie: You don't understand, I am Sanka Coffie, I am the best pushcart driver in all of Jamaica! I must drive! Do you dig where I'm coming from?
Irv: Yeah, I dig where you're coming from.
Sanka Coffie: Good.
Irv: Now dig where I'm coming from. I'm coming from two gold medals. I'm coming from nine world records in both the two- and four-man events. I'm coming from ten years of intense competition with the best athletes in the world.
Sanka Coffie: That's a hell of a place to be coming from!