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Saturday, June 2, 2012

My 100 Worst Movies of the 90's - 09 - Cool As Ice (1991)

Cool As Ice (1991; Universal Pictures)
Cool as Ice is a vanity project starring Vanilla Ice, if that isn’t enough of a reason to be on this list, then I’m really at a loss.  Cool as Ice is a pseudo-remake of Rebel Without a Cause, kind of in the way that Out Cold is a pseudo-remake of Casablanca.  But that isn’t what this film is about.  This film is about Vanilla Ice being cool... as... Ice. . …

Johnny (Ice) comes to town with his motorcycle crew and one of his boys’ rides is in need of repair so they stop by a mechanic and find they are stuck in town for a few days.  So, Johnny rides around, rips off Top Gun trying to impress a girl on horseback, almost kills her, then tries to win her heart.  It’s a shame he’s such a schmuck because otherwise, he might be likable.  You see, the girl is Kathy, a straight-laced goody-two-shoes and she is attracted to the rebel (I use that word loosely) in Johnny, so she is forced to choose between living her normal home life or acting out bad music videos with her new vehicularly-homicidal boyfriend.

This movie is really just all over the place.  There are scenes upon scenes of Vanilla Ice posing on his bike, posing with his girlfriend, posing everywhere!  There really isn’t anything holding this movie together.  Ice has the charisma of a piece of unpainted drywall yet the supporting cast is forced to pretend he’s interesting or even dangerous, something we never really buy, and the story is so self-aggrandizing and phony that it is almost as though he came up with it while drinking at a bar with a producer, just his way through a drunken and slurred monologue about his life.

Vanity projects as a genre are often a non-film artist’s attempt to break into films, usually designed to display how amazing the lead actor/director/writer is.  Vanilla Ice was still  sort-of popular when this movie came out, but he had already peaked, which is more than I can say for most movies starring washed-up musical performers but that is not the only thing that makes this project so sad; the badness and fail on this film just radiates from scene one and when you look at the tone and idea behind the film, it’s sort of depressing.  Ice is a terrible actor, his performance exuding a sort of cool that is so phony it is laughable.  Then there’s Ice’s musical numbers shoehorned into the film in the form of  numerous, random and very out-of-place montages.  

Let’s face it,  Vanilla Ice is one of the sillier performers of the late 80’s and early 90’s.  I do not really know how many people take him seriously today, but I do know for a fact that most of the time, when you hear a song or see him appear in anything, it is part of some ironic joke.  He definitely tried too hard, and it showed in everything he did including, and especially, Cool as Ice.

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