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Jonathan Taylor Thomas,
A film crew travels to the Austrian Alps near the (former) Yugoslav border to film three extreme sports enthusiasts being chased down by an avalanche for a commercial. What they don't know, however, is that they're filming near the secret hideout of Slobodan Pavle, a Serbian war criminal. Accidentally catching him on film, they become locked in a life-or-death chase for their lives through the mountains that includes skiing, snowboarding, sky diving, white water rafting, helicopters, motorcycles and base jumping. Written by
At its very best it is still only a distracting, unenthusiastic *shrug* of a film
An extreme sports advertising firm travels to snowy Eastern Europe to shoot an advert featuring snow-boarding in the middle of an avalanche. Despite the danger, all the thrill-seekers see it as a bit of fun but, when they accidentally get film of a "dead" war criminal very much alive, they find themselves in very real danger.
Perhaps unfortunately also known as The Extremists, this film is an European attempt to do what xXx did in regards making an action film out of extreme sports. Now, to many viewers this may feel like a particularly bad overall aim but bear in mind that, instead of American muscle-man Vin Diesel, we've got Rufus Sewell in the lead "oh sh1111111t boy....it's on now kid, we bringing the C-WELL" etc. You get my point from the start you cannot shake the feeling that this is a product made without a lot of money sloshing around. With that in mind I did expect it to be awful and it was a weirdly nice surprise to find that it is only "not that good". The plot about terrorists in a remote location is not reached for two-thirds and up till then we just have lots of noisy "extreme sports" action. This snow-boarding stuff is all very well but, without any plotting or characters to speak of, you'd be better off just watching it on one of those channel 4 sports programmes instead.
In the final thirty minutes we suddenly have an action movie as one would expect but this is too quick and lacking in tension or the sort of internal realism required to engage the viewer. It pootles along OK I suppose but it never shakes the feeling of being basic mainly because Duguay can't inject action and thrills into it, he does his best but the material is the root of the problem and the film never did anything for me other than distract. The cast don't help the feeling of this being done on the cheap but the bigger problem is that nobody really has a lot of presence or charisma. The only exception to this is Pallaske, who is cute and energetic enough to stick in the mind. Otherwise though we are left with Sewell being too bland for this film, Graves doing a "comedy" character, Wilson being blonde and tall, Sawa (better known as Eminem's Stan) doing not that much and then lots of Eastern European boiler-plates.
Extreme Ops offers a mix of so-so extreme sports action, so-so narrative, so-so performances and so-so action. It is no surprise then that the overall film at its best is "so-so" and other than a very lazy Friday night watching cable, I don't think many viewers will find that this meets their needs. "Here we go again" is the final line of the film extremely unlikely I'd say.
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