Cutting Edge: Going for the Gold, TheReviewed By David Cornelius
Posted 12/31/06 15:33:18
Here it is, finally, the movie you’ve all been waiting for: “The Cutting Edge: Going For the Gold.”This se - What’s that? Mm hmm. Mm hmm. I see. OK. So you have not been waiting for “The Cutting Edge: Going For the Gold?” None of you? Not even you in the back? Hmm? Oh, you also haven’t been eagerly looking forward to “The Net 2.0” or “American Pie Presents Band Camp?” How about “The Prince & Me 2?” No? OK, by show of hands, is anyone out there at all interested in any of the dozens of direct-to-video sequels the studios have been churning out lately? Anyone? Anyone? Hello? Is this thing on?
Yes, “The Cutting Edge: Going For the Gold” is another DTV sequel that nobody wanted. I’m certain the studios - in this case, MGM - understand this, and that they’re only pumping these things out in massive numbers because the combination of ultra-cheap production and DVD rental/purchase costs that are low enough to not get in the way of impulse-buy curiosity adds up to a slew of forgettable products (not movies, but products) that are just profitable enough to keep executives wanting more.
And like most DTV sequels, “The Cutting Edge: Going For the Gold” (the title is so ridiculous that I can’t help but say the whole thing) is a sequel in name only; no characters, cast members, or behind-the-scenes staffers return for this new film. It is merely a movie that kinda has the same story idea as the original, just enough to pass it off on the name recognition factor. Perhaps the reasoning here is if the name recognition doesn’t pay off during the pre-release buzz, the title can be changed and nobody would really notice. (Oddly, such a non-sequel has a serious chance of backfiring, alienating the very fans the studio wishes to attract; it’s quite possible that those eagerly looking for the continuing adventures of Moira Kelly and D. B. Sweeney would look at this release with as much disdain as the rest of us do.)
Here’s what we get: Christy Carlson Romano (best known from the Disney Channel sitcom “Even Stevens” and as the voice of Kim Possible on the cartoon of the same name) plays ace skater Jackie Dorsey, who takes a rough fall while attempting a triple Axel, her career seemingly ended by the injury. On vacation during the summer following, she meets cute with hunky “extreme” sports wiz Alex (newcomer Ross Thomas), and because we’ve seen “The Cutting Edge,” we quickly understand that he’ll soon have to give up his skateboarding ways and help out on the ice, especially when Jackie decides she wants to head to Torino for the Olympics, despite being seemingly out of commission. And you can bet the two will wind up pulling off a triple Axel or two, just to show ’em.
The good news is that screenwriter Daniel Berendsen steals nothing else from the original film, so we don’t get the boredom of watching a pale imitation. The bad news is that there is no more good news. Berendsen’s script is a real slog, ranging from uninspired romance to uninspired slapstick to uninspired sports drama. The dialogue is notably worthless, marked with cliché after cliché.
Curiously, the movie sets itself up to be a family-friendly romantic comedy, but Berendsen’s screenplay constantly skews older. There’s a major plot point regarding Alex’s would-be other girlfriend, with one scene having them shower together (nothing is shown, but we can assume they weren’t just shampooing in there). Sexual goings-on may be realistic for characters of this age, of course (they’re in their early twenties, or, at least, they look like they are), but everything else about the movie suggests it’s intended for the preteen crowd. (The film even got an early showing on the ABC Family channel before its video debut.) Why, then, toss in such grown-up things into such an otherwise junior high movie? (By the way, this is not me being prudish, but me scratching my head at the unevenness of the film’s intent.)
Our director is Sean McNamara, the auteur behind “Raise Your Voice,” “Treehouse Hostage,” and (yes!) “3 Ninjas: High Noon At Mega Mountain,” and his style is to point the camera at something, preferably the cast, and make sure that if the movie can’t be made well, at least it can be made at all. And if the actors bother to show any interest in their roles, then hey, more power to them, but there’s no reason for McNamara to insist they actually bother with solid performances.
In other words, yes, “The Cutting Edge: Going For the Gold” is in fact as awful as it looks.(This review has been reprinted with kind permission from DVD Talk and the author, who is me. For details on the DVD release, please visit www.DVDTalk.com.)
|© Copyright HBS Entertainment, Inc.|