Running time: 98 mins (approx)
Certificate (UK): PG
Watched on Sky+ Monday 31st August 2009.
PLEASE NOTE: POSSIBLE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I’ll admit to having seen this film before, most of my reviews are of films I’ve seen for the first time. Having said that, it was a long time ago and there were quite a lot of bits and pieces I’ve either forgotten, or missed first time around. One of the last films featuring the late, great John Candy, it’s always been one of my favourites. It tells the story of the first Jamaican Bobsleigh team to compete in the Winter Olympics in Calgary 1988. Although based on true events, I think a lot of poetic licence was used.
Derice Bannock is the son of an Olympic sprint champion and trained all his life to follow in his father’s footsteps. An accident at the Jamaican trials leaves him without a place on the Olympic team. Desperate to compete, he seeks out Irving ‘Irv’ Blitzer, a former American bobsleigh champion who happens to live on the island. Despite Irv’s initial reluctance, he is eventually persuaded to train Derice, along with his best friend, Sanka Coffie, the son of a rich man, and cause of the accident at the trials, Junior Bevil and the angry Yul Brenner. They begin training by pushing a cart down a Jamaican hill and jumping in it. Eventually they leave for Canada where they are, at first, ridiculed by the other teams and generally given a hard time due to an event in Irv’s past.
There are an awful lot of great comedy moments in this film and John Candy’s comic timing was just as good as ever. Great performances from all of the main characters, Leon as Derice Bannock, Doug E. Doug as Sanka Coffie, Rawle D. Lewis as Junior Bevil, Malik Yoba as Yul Brenner and, of course John Candy as Irving ‘Irv’ Blitzer. Not the greatest comedy in the world, but one you would feel comfortable watching with you parents, or leaving the kids in front of.
My score: 7/10
IMDb Site: http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0106611/