Extreme Ops

There are many films that sound like a good idea at the time and seem like that they couldn’t fail to be box-office gold, such as Beverley Hills Cop III and Highlander 2. Extreme Ops probably seemed like a good idea on paper as well with action, extreme sports, a smattering of sexual tension and evil terrorists.

Rufus Sewell and Rupert Graves are Jeffrey and Ian, a producer-director duo who film extreme sports for commercials. They take a contract to film some snow boarding and skiing in the Alps for a Japanese business.

They take along their sponsor and a group of snow boarders and skiers. After some bawdy behaviour from the hard partying snow boarders gets them kicked out if their plush hotel, the whole group is forced to stay at a half finished lodge atop a remote peak manned only by Serbian workmen.

Unfortunately the group manage to ‘accidentally’ film a bloodthirsty Balkan general (Heinrich Schmieder) who is hiding from War Crime charges in the lodge. The workmen turn out to be his henchmen, who are more than eager to make sure that no-one knows about the General.  

With the General and his men hot on their tails, the extreme sports fanatics and film makers flee trying to stay one step ahead of their pursuers. The only defensive weapon that they have is their ability to speed fast and hard down snow covered mountains.

Extreme Ops tries to capitalise on the popularity of extreme sports but seeing that the first half of the film is wasted on juvenile attempts to increase sexual tension, with a hot tub lesbian kiss (just a very brief one, before you get too excited). By the time the sporting action starts the audience just doesn’t care if anyone gets killed or not. The villains are so bad and one-dimensional that they couldn’t put the fear of god into anyone. They are the standard European, atrociously accented villains who spew bad lines and never shave that seem to frequent lot of films.

Performances are pretty bland, which is a shame. Devon Sawa, who was great in Final Destination, comes across here extremely dull. Joe Absolom pops up too and who is better know as a former member of Eastenders on these shores. The other two female leads are Brigitte Wilson-Sampras (married to some tennis player……Pete somebody or other) and Jane Pallaske. Both are there simply to add some sex appeal to the proceedings. All the cast are unbelievably unconvincing as people who are practitioners of extreme sports.

The ridiculous and often obviously CGI stunts are nothing to write home about and tend to look like they have been spliced into the film from some other project altogether. The stuntmen are extremely obvious and take even more credibility away from the actors. Some are just so fake that they do a disservice to real extreme snowboarders and skiers.

On the whole Extreme Ops fails on so many levels, from the lack of action to the ridiculous situations; such as when you are skiing, being chased by terrorists in a helicopter and an avalanche, would you really start filming for your commercial at that point? Instead of wasting time with this just rent out Cliffhanger or xXx if you want mountain shenanigans or extreme sports.

Score 3/10

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