Chill Factor (1999)
Main cast: Cuba Gooding, Jr (Arlo), Skeet Ulrich (Tim Mason), and Peter Firth (Captain Andrew Brynner)
Director: Hugh Johnson


Now, I love ridiculous nonsense. I actually love Speed 2 (Jason Patric can save me anytime), especially for its ridiculous nonsense and the cutie-pie hunk of a star. Chill Factor may as well be the third Speed movie, for it is equally over-the-top in its ridiculous antics, but it also, unfortunately, lacks the cheesy fun of the Speed movies.

The story starts out promisingly cornball. A scientist accidentally miscalculated in his chemical bomb testing, causing the whole remote island they were on to be destroyed. Since the scientist and his buddy Capt Brynner are in the stronghold of a lab, they are safe. Brynner takes the fall and goes to 10 years in the slammer. He comes out bitter, and vows vengeance by stealing the scientist's chemical bomb formula. The thing is, the scientist passes the bomb thingies to his friend Tim, a man with a dubious past, with instruction to pass it to some military folks. The scientist dies, and Tim forces Arlo, an ice cream salesman, to drive him and the bombies across the country even as Brynner and Gang are hot on their trails.

Now, the bombies will go off should temperature exceeds 50 degrees. Hence the whole story hinges on our two heroes finding enough ice to keep the bombies in a cool temperature. Never mind that I can't think of such explosive chemicals in real life, and the movie smartly avoids mentioning its name. Our heroes do the token male-bonding thing, use an aluminium rowboat to slide down a high slope, shoot people in a merry-go-round place, and do everything everyone from Rambo to The Fugitive have done in their respective movies.

Skeet Ulrich looks like a beefier Johnny Depp but his character is bland. Cuba Gooding Jr's character is the stereotypically chirpy one, again bland. Brynner is bland too. Needless to say, everyone's bland in this movie.

Verdict? Boring. The ending thirty minutes is irritating, too, because our injured hero, instead of passing the bomb to the more capable people around him, wants to play hero instead like a misguided moron. Next!

Rating: 58


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