Cool Runnings (1993) Poster

(1993)

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Not the truth, but still inspiring.
grendelkhan23 August 2003
Make no mistake, Cool Runnings is not the true story of the Jamaican Bobsled team. It is inspired by it, but this is not a documentary. Still, despite that, it does capture the spirit of the team and the derision they faced. In a fun and entertaining way, the filmmakers displayed the true lesson of the team: if you have a dream, go after it, no matter what anyone else says.

This isn't the greatest film ever and it's full of cliches; but, they work. If you can't get caught up in the emotion and excitement of the film, it's because your heart is frozen. There are plenty of laughs and general silliness, but there is also good drama and fine performances. John Candy showed he could deliver an emotional performance instead of just schtick. During the bobsled runs, you can't help but find yourself cheering for the team.

This film is a pleasure to watch and will bring a smile to your face. Is it good? Yeah, mon!
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9/10
Funny, strong and endearing characters
shrav863 July 2005
I remember watching this movie when I was a kid and loving it. It is one of those feel good movies that you think is corny but somehow avoids that label. The characters are funny and endearing. John Candy balances the broken side of his character along with the inspirational side of his character very believably. Doug E Doug has some hilarious dialogs. You feel yourself rooting for the team with more feeling than you expect. The director does well by not focusing on the racial aspect of the movie and converting it to just another movie of black vs. white. Obviously you cannot expect any brilliant acting or movie making but all in all this movie is a must see for families. Four Jamaicans in a bob sled is more entertaining than it looks.
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10/10
Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, get on up, it's bobsled time.
cobram-116 August 2003
Just saw this movie again on HBO, haven't seen it in almost a decade, and was surprised at how much slipped by me the first time. It's only sad point is to be reminded of what a loss we movie lovers suffered with the death of John Candy. Imagine what he could have done with a little more time on this mortal coil. This movie is uplifting; it's about the human spirit, its strengths and weaknesses. It explores the parent-child conflict, superstition, ambition, love, hate, patriotism and a gamut of other themes. The story telling is good, the camaraderie authentic, and the celebration of life inspiring. Follow your dreams, wherever they may lead you. When things seem impossible, just remember that there's a Jamaican bobsled team.
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8/10
Sweet, disarming film
Spleen23 September 1999
Hands up all Jamaicans. (There are only 2.6 million people in Jamaica - so I know you don't account for a large percentage of the English-speaking world.) Hands up all those people with any interest at all in bobsledding. Hah! I knew it! No-one.

That's why `Cool Runnings' succeeds. It depends not at all on aggressive nationalism (it couldn't afford to, with a constituency of 2.6 million), and people of all countries are free to participate in the Jamaicans' perfectly reasonable patriotism. (Probably even the Swiss, whose bobsled team comes across as more than a trifle arrogant.) Nor is there any of that worship of a particular sport that makes baseball movies so unendurable for people outside of North America, Cuba and Japan. (Not that I have any evidence that baseball movies are popular in Cuba or Japan.)

There isn't any power-of-positive-thinking psychobabble, either - at least, it doesn't dominate. The four Jamaican bobsledders are separate people with different goals and ways of thinking. The coach (played beautifully by John Candy, who proves that he can act without playing the clown) doesn't ram a particular ideology down his players' throats. I doubt that any sports film has a more civilised and reasonable coach.

It comes down to this: we are given a reason to care about the characters, unrelated to nationality; and we are given a story that's worth following, even if we would never follow the sport itself. The clichés are fewer than usual and never offensive. It's a sweet film, and I doubt there's more than a handfull of people who could resist its charm.
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10/10
One Of The Greatest Films Ever Made
waltontowers-120 April 2006
It might not be historically accurate - and you know what, some of the best films aren't - but I believe, hand on heart, that Cool Runnings is one of greatest films ever made.

Cool Runnings is absolutely hilarious with a wonderful blend of slapstick comedy, one liners, colourful characters and absurdity, however its comic achievements are well documented, and for this reason I will take them as read.

Cool Runnings is an exploration of a number of the weightiest themes a film can deal with, such as racism, poverty, pride, passion, forgiveness and self-belief. Cool Runnings tackles all of these themes head-on without losing an ounce of its charm, humour, or family-fun.

A superbly played Joseph Gruel is the prime embodiment of the racism the Jamaicans face on the hill, and his story is very moving. So too is the voyage of self-discovery and forgiveness embarked on by disgraced coach Erv Blitzer (John Candy). The team themselves are a wonderful advert for teamwork and the little island of Jamaica. Each one is wise, bold in the face of their respective adversity, and has an intriguing story to tell.

The ending of Cool Runnings also ranks as one of the greatest. It masterfully avoids the back-slapping, one-dimensional and predictable ending it looks to be approaching, a trap that so many other similar 'feel-good' films fall into. Instead Cool Runnings brings together all of the themes that have been explored, in one emotionally charged final scene.

99% will disagree with something I have written above. But I first watched the film 15 years ago and it has stayed with me ever since. I have watched it around 100 times now, and I still shed a tear at the end...no other film has ever brought me even close to that.

If you take nothing else from this review. Watch Cool Runnings. It is so much better than the clever-arsed, blockbuster-biased critics will have you believe. Forget the highly forgettable cheese like Remember the Titans, The Mighty Ducks and all the rest. Pull up a chair, get the phone on divert, and sit back and enjoy the only 'feel good' film worth watching.
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7/10
Pretty fun sports movie
Scott-10124 June 2004
This one of those family-oriented sports movies that I have fond memories of from my elementary school days. Off the top of my head, I can name The Air Up There, Iron Will, and the Mighty Ducks in this category as well. They weren't masterpieces, per se, but they were pleasant, fun, and sometimes inspirational.

The thing about a sports movie is that the passion that a dedicated athlete feels is usually something that can translate itself visually on screen. For instance, if you were to make a movie about a passionate chess player, it's not as exciting to watch the final climactic moment when the hero checkmates his opponent, as it is to watch a game winning shot. What I'm getting to is that one of the draws of a sports movie is being exposed to that passion and desire in our hero.

In this case, the hero is Jamaican sprinter Derice Bannock who was accidentally tripped during the Olympic trials, but is determined to make the Olympics anyway. Since track's no longer an option for him, he figures why not start the nation's first bobsledding team, since a bobsled team hasn't been fielded yet. He also is encouraged in the sport by the fact that a friend of his dad happens to be a bobsled coach and he might be able to help. The bobsled coach declines citing as his reasons that there's no ice in Jamaica, that there's not enough time to train, that Derice doesn't have 3 other people which is needed to form a team, that he doesn't even think Derice was a good runner, and that he doesn't even like coaching anymore.

Nevertheless, Derice manages to convince the coach, and get three teammates consisting of his best friend, the guy who tripped him in the trials, and another sprinter who got tripped in the trials along with him. This is one of the better sources of entertainment in the film because the dynamics of this team are formed under such unusual circumstance. For instance, Yul, one of the two who got tripped during the trials, still hasn't forgiven Junior, the tripper.

The film very cleverly finds a balance between the inspirational element of this story and the humor. Essentially, Derice the most determined member of the group, is a person who we come to admire for his persistence, and maybe that's why it's a good family film, someone kids can look up to. The humor comes from Derice's friend, Sanka, who says a lot of funny stuff. This really is the only way the movie could work because if Derice was funny and told jokes, you wouldn't take him seriously, and if Sanka was more determined about winning, his jokes would sound out of context. The two guys in the middle of the bobsled, both metaphorically and literally, add to the film in their own ways but on a smaller scale. The late John Candy plays the coach and fills the part well.

The other notable thing about the film is it's ending. Provided, this is your first viewing, it really does a lot for the movie. I won't give it away, but the ending is unpredictable yet equally satisfying, something I don't often see. However, I wonder, since this was filmed only five years after the Calgary Olympics, how familiar would viewers have been with the actual event that inspired the film. If they knew the story of the '88 Jamaican bobsled team in its entirety, than the impact of that ending would have been lost.
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7/10
A scene from the 1988 Olympics:
Ron-18124 November 2001
One of John Candy's best movies. An excellent cast makes this a real feel good film telling the story of the first Jamaican bobsled team and their efforts to overcome the prejudices of a previous all white sport. You'll enjoy every minute of this flick and have a better understanding of what it takes to join the Olympic movement. For the entire family.
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8/10
Cool running has to be the funniest ever made by the late John Candy
larrybell6722 February 2002
I have seen this movie at least 7 times and still get the greatest laugh from it. It has humor, sense of competition to win the big event with all their hearts. Just good clean overall fun and great story line which I understand was derived from a true story.
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8/10
A little gem
Lupercali9 March 2004
'Cool Runnings' is one of those prized and rare animals - a genuinely feel-good family movie that doesn't also make you feel stupid.

Based (rather loosely, I suspect) on the true story of the Jamaican bobsled team who competed in the Winter Olympics, against outrageous odds, ridicule, complete lack of snow in Jamaica, etc, etc - 'Cool Runnings' hardly puts a foot wrong as it moves towards its rousing ending. That ending is genuinely inspirational, lump-in-the-throat stuff, which so many serious sports movies have aimed at, and fallen short of.

Most miraculously, from my point of view, I actually found myself _liking_ John Candy, in this movie.

I'm giving this one 8 out of 10. It achieves its goals splendidly. Be sure to give it a look if you've not seen it before.
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8/10
A very cool comedy
philip_vanderveken11 January 2005
It's probably a word game that has been used many times before, but "Cool Runnings" is a very 'cool' movie that offered me a lot of fun and laughter. And since this is a comedy and not a documentary, that's all I'm asking of this movie.

If you hope to see a documentary on how the first Jamaican bobsled team was created and how they got to the Olympics than you'll have to look for something else. This movie has been inspired on the true events, but never pretends to be faithful to the truth. Does that mean that this movie isn't any good? No, certainly not. I loved to see how these four guys were transfered from sprinters to bobsledders and I couldn't help laughing all the time when seeing their reactions on, for instance, the cold and the snow.

This isn't the greatest movie ever and yes it is full of clichés, but they all work and it never bothered me once. However, don't expect to see a ridiculous comedy with no content either, because it still has a good story and plenty of emotions and excitement to offer. I reward this movie with an 8/10.
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7/10
cool movie
rupie22 February 2000
This entertaining movie, based on the true story of the Jamaican Bob Sled Team's (yes, you heard right - Jamaican Bob Sled Team) participation in the 1985 Winter Olympics is a funny film with a warm heart that moves to an inspiring ending. The story, about a group of Jamaican athletes who were prevented from competing as runners and so sought a different (!) venue in order to participate, has many funny moments. The late John Candy, of whom I am no fan, is very good here; his role as the coach with a checkered past calls for some real dramatic work as well as comedy. The team is a very likeable bunch (with varying acting abilities) and the viewer is rooting for them all the way as they demonstrate great courage in snatching their own kind of victory from the jaws of defeat; the ending is a real lump-in-the-throater.

Good flick, but a caveat for viewing with the kiddos - the language is a tad rough in a couple of spots.
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10/10
fantastic
rossrobinson10 June 2004
I think cool runnings is a fantastic movie, since this movie was made in 1993, i have grown up with this movie because i enjoyed what i saw that was put into the movie and i thought it was fantastic, the way the actors were with the characters, playing them perfect. My heart goes to John Candy as i heard years ago that he passed away and died froma heart attack. He was such a great actor and had so many fans, besides him doing a great performance in cool runnings, my other favourite movies with him in it have got to be Splash, Home Alone, Uncle Buck, i think those movies are fanastic, the great movies of the 1980's and 1990's i feel as though that these are the favourites for those who liked this movies. I give cool runnings 10 out of 10 because i think it is fantastic. God bless you John and thank you for the great performances you made in the movies you starred in.
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10/10
Plea to recognize this film, man!
HouseofMogh14 June 1999
This is a very underappreciated and little known movie. I give it a ten or a 9.5 though. It is great. It's a true story about the Jamaican bobsled team (how ironic). But unlike all the other sports stories where the team always kicks but in a glorious win, this is different. It also is fun to watch because of the Jamaican dudes speaking like surfers and saying "man" all the time. So, see this movie. Vote for it and try to get it onto the top 250.

Peace Man!
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7/10
The Importance of Teamwork and Objective to Make Winners
claudio_carvalho8 September 2006
When the Jamaican sprinter Derice Bannock (Leon) is disqualified to the Olympic Games due to a silly accident, he envision the chance to participate in bobsleigh modality. He meets the dishonored couch Irving Blitzer (John Candy), who is living in the tropical country after two gold medals and elimination due to cheating, and convinces him to couch the first Jamaican Bobsled Team. They form a group with the push-cart driver Sanka Coffie (Doug E. Doug), the sprinter Yul Brenner (Malik Yoba) and the rich Junior Bevil (Rawle D. Lewis) and without any sponsor, fly to Calgary, Alberta, Canada to participate of the XV Olympic Winter Games at -25o C. In the end, they become winners without winning the game.

Based on the true surprising participation of Jamaica in the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in the winter sport known as bobsleigh, or bobsled, in which teams make timed runs down narrow, twisting, banked, iced tracks in a gravity-powered sled, this comedy gives a very important message: the importance of teamwork and objective to make winners. Therefore, "Cool Runnings" is a great entertainment for audiences of any age. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Jamaica Abaixo de Zero" ("Jamaica below Zero")
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10/10
A funny movie that knows exactly when to be serious
nucksfan4life17 September 2002
"Cool Runnings" is one of my favorite movies. I watch this movie a lot. It makes me laugh. I think it is one of John Candy's best performances. The story is amazing and unthinkable. Some true story movies can end up being really bad, but "Cool Runnings" is a great success. During the final run down the track, a moment is displayed where the director knows to turn off the funny, and let the movie become serious. That is an awesome moment. I will continue to enjoy this movie for many years to come.
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10/10
Great feel good movie....
ebonight18 October 1998
This movie has been one of my favorites for many years. Superb acting by John Candy.
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10/10
A brilliant film
cougarric23 September 1998
A superb atmosphere as it's set in the paradise of Jamaica as the four bob-sledders prepare for the winter Olympics. This is such a funny yet at times sad film as the Jamaican's battle against all the odds to become equals or Olympians. I watch this fairly often and I keep willing them to make it to the finish line but obviously this never happens. Great stuff!
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9/10
May not be the entire truth, but a great movie nonetheless
super_acorn7 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Sure it mightn't be full truth, but who doesn't enjoy this great movie? I loved it, II have a serious soft-spot when it comes to comedy but this movie is up there with some of the best e.g. Zoolander :) I liked it so much because of the great range of comedy in it, slapstick, visual and audio comedy. The bright colours of Jamaica keeps the watchers attention right the way through in the teams' clothes. There is some great acting. John Candy does exceptionally well in my view as well as Doug E. Doug. The music chosen is great, fits in to the story nicely e.g. the song during the training session called "Rise Above It" So all in all it's a great watch for all ages.
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8/10
A fun John Candy classic!
TheTopDawg10 February 2018
Saw this again playing on cable and it brought back the same laughs and entertainment when I first saw it back in '93. Great fun throwback seeing the legendary JC at his best.
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Jamicain Splendor!
palexandersquires25 January 2005
this film I find, is pure comedy, and who ever heard of a Jamaican bob sled team? well I now have, I also liked the Yul Bremmer character he is a bit like my cat! " do not touch me!" but i still can touch her mind. Anyway this film is warm and sunny,until you get to that freezing cold airport! I also liked that coach Irving Winkler who had to be pestered into coaching that team of Jamacains. Also the music is good I also liked that Swede chap who called one of the Jamaicans, Jamaica! I think he did not want them in the team. I also think that the Jamaicans should of checked the sled before they raced, that loose nut should of been tightened or welded to the frame. It was a shame that they did not come 1st! I am always shouting "GET IN GET IN" At the television each time I see them at the top of the hill about to get into their sled! all in all, it is one cool film, my first Disney made DVD in my collection. The first of many!!!
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10/10
way cool movie
GatoradeBoom7 February 2003
I just got through watching this movie for the second time- the first time was when it first came out a few years back. :) I think this movie is such an inspiring story, a good one to watch for those who have a dream but are having trouble getting there. I highly recomend this movie!
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10/10
The ultimate feel-good film
Sean-10929 June 1999
Although recently pipped by The Truman Show for the much-heralded title of my favourite film, this is, without a doubt, my favourite feel-good film. Sure, it's not perfect, but who can resist the witty wisecracks of Sanka "How 'bout I draw a line down the middle of your head so it looks like a butt" Coffey, the determination of Junior "Bad Ass Mother" Bevil to break free from the shackles of his father, or the absolutely wonderful ending with the team carrying the sled up the track with everyone cheering? If you want to watch a film that will warm your heart, look no further than Cool Runnings.
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a cinematic triumph
mules8210 May 2002
I had anticipated the release of Cool Runnings for years leading up to its arrival. After all, here was the 100% true story of Doug E. Doug and John Candy going for Olympic gold in the bobsled. I must admit, I didn't know previous to seeing the movie that Candy was an expert on bobsleding, although I can easily see why his severe obesity would allow him to be good at sitting on a sled and traveling down an ice covered path at an incredible speed. Candy should have just had Doug E. Doug hang out with him for a year and put him on the same diet. Plus, you got to figure with all the pot Mr. Doug was smoking he would have the munchies constantly.

Now, Cool Runnings had all the makings of the greatest movie of all time. It had an Oscar winning cast, Jack Nicholson, DeNio, Pacino, Helen Hunt, Vin Diesel etc., it had beautiful settings and costume design, a great musical score with such hits as "here is something you can't believe, Jamaica, we have a bobsled team..." and a great director in someone who I don't know. Actually, I really don't remember much of this movie. I know I saw it though, maybe even two or three times. I also remember that Freshman year in college Siegel refused to study for an Econ exam because Fox was showing Cool Runnings. Why Fox was showing this, I have no idea. Perhaps as a joke?

Anyway, I highly recommend that everyone see 'Cool Runnings' if you haven't already done so. It is one of the last times one can see John Candy. Well, unless of course you want to dig up his grave. But, that's kind of gross, plus I assume he's all decomposed, and he is much funnier as a fat guy. Actually, while you're at it, rent 'Who's harry Crumb.' That movie is awesome. Altieri also really likes it, and he looks like a female American Indian.
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10/10
The Ultimate Feel Good Movie!
Duncan130 December 2005
I haven't cried once since I was 12 years old. Now aged 23 I found myself weeping at the end of this film recently (odd as I've seen it about 15 times over the years). An utterly wonderful little family film and deserving of every superlative there is. It sits in my Top 10 films because it is a film pretending to be nothing other than uplifting and enjoyable fun and, for this reason, it excels! Forget all the arguments about historical inaccuracy, especially if you enjoyed the more "serious" factual films. Those four Jamaican chaps could teach all the snobbish, fun-phobe, cynical film critics a thing or two about entertainment. Sit back and enjoy the hilarity of 4 Jamaican guys hilariously trying to compete as an Olympic bobsled team whilst still maintaining a certain dignity and heart! Let yourself feel warmed by the relationships between the two best friends, the dreamer and his coach and, my favourite, the newfound friendship of the mismatched shy rich-kid and hard poor-man. Buy it on DVD at once!
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10/10
An Absolutely Terrific Film
director14ty26 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
There are certain movies over the past decades that achieve a sort of raw emotion inside of us that can't be captured on purpose. This is a movie that is so simple, yet so unbelievably poetic that it is hard to to believe Disney made it. I saw this movie the first time when I was 5 years old, and I never forgot how inspired it made me feel. I remember my dad saying how great of a story he thought it was because of the kind of adversity these guys overcame. The end of the movie is so unbelievably powerful when the sled breaks and they hold their heads up high as they finish the race, carrying the bobsled. This is a movie that never loses its power, even 12 years later.
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