Review: ‘Out Cold’

The aptly named "Out Cold" is a 90-minute off-season slice of semi-defrosted "American Pie" that even the least discriminating viewers will immediately forget they had.

The aptly named “Out Cold” is a 90-minute experience that even the least discriminating viewers will immediately forget they had. Boasting material so thin that the de rigeur blooper clips come before the final credits, this off-season slice of semi-defrosted “American Pie” has a few minutes of good snowboarding footage — all in the first reel, alas — after which it’s strictly downhill, bunny-slope style. Innocuous item should pull in stray coin for a weekend or two, but nobody’ll be opening this present by Christmas.

After a weak mock tourist-promo introduction to fictive Bull Mountain, Alaska (pic was actually shot in British Columbia) — which mostly serves to note that its late founder liked to ski drunk and bare-ass nekkid — things look up briefly as protag Rick (Jason London) thrillingly zips down the 8,000 foot mountain on his board. Soon after, there’s another decent seg in which the well-soused local resort staffers do likewise at night with beer mugs in hand, competing for the annual King of the Mountain title.

Rick wins yet again, and as reward gets a friendly overture from apparently sole area female Jenny (A.J. Cook). She’s cute, sweet and one of the guys — but alas, he’s pining for a girl loved and lost at Cancun in the summer.

Then the plot, such as it is, kicks in, and rather amazingly “Out Cold” pretty well forgets that extreme winter sports is its main drawing card. The resort’s weaselly heir, Ted Muntz (Willie Garson), decides he’ll sell the operation to a rhinestone cowboy named John Majors (Lee Majors), who spies manager material in Rick.

Unfortunately, the 10-gallon-hatted interloper sees little value in Rick’s pals — boozy pass-out champ Luke (Zach Galifianakis), his horndoggie bro Pig Pen (Derek Hamilton), token black guy Anthony (Flex Alexander) and bartender Lance (David Denman).

All are soon sacked. Worse yet, Bull Mountain is renamed Snownook, the saloon gets a dress-code makeover, and sashimi and espresso stands pop up on the slopes. The horror, the horror.

Meanwhile, Rick’s attention is waylaid by the unexpected appearance of his Cancun amore, Anna (Caroline Dhavernas), who happens to be one of Majors’ stepdaughters. The other is gelatinously enhanced Inga, played by former Miss Sweden, ’97 Playmate of the Year and onetime Swedish national ski teamer Victoria Silvstedt.

Pace is just brisk enough to allow the almost entirely lame gag lines and indifferently staged slapstick to land with a soft, powdery thud. Climax is a rote messing-up of Majors’ upscale season-launch fete, complete with trouser-doffing homage paid to the late mountain patriarch (pic itself is dedicated to the late Lewis Arquette, whose appearance as Papa Muntz is eye-blink brief).

Perfs range from bland to bad, though none can be docked for failing to meet the material’s potential. Feature-debuting helmers Brendan and Emmett Malloy (billed as simply “the Malloys”) are backgrounded in musicvideos and surf docus. Their slope footage — duly deploying plenty of real-life snowboarding champs as stunt personnel — is choice, but there should have been much more.

Elsewhere, less attention is paid. Would-be set pieces often lack setup or follow through, staging is perfunctory, and even the “Porky’s”-esque tastelessness lacks any real verve. Michael Andrews’ conventional orchestral score is routinely abetted by a soundtrack CD’s worth of pop tracks.

Out Cold


A Buena Vista release of a Touchstone Pictures presentation of a Spyglass Entertainment production. Produced by Lee R. Mayes, Michael Aguilar, Jonathan Glickman. Executive producers, Lauren Shuler Donner, Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum. Directed by Brendan and Emmett Malloy. Screenplay, Jon Zack.


Camera (color), Richard Crudo; editor, Jeffrey Wolf; music, Michael Andrews; music supervisor, Laura Z. Wasserman; production designer, Michael Bolton; art director, James Steuart; set designers, Jay Mitchell, Allan Peter Galajda, Roxanne Methot; set decorator, Louise Roper; costume designer, Carla Hetland; sound (Dolby Digital), Eric Batut; sound editor, Patrick Dodd; assistant directors, Richard Cowen, Lee Cleary; second unit director, J.J. Makaro; casting, Sarah Haley Finn, Randi Hiller, Coreen Mayrs (Canada). Reviewed at the AMC Van Ness 1000, San Francisco, Nov. 19, 2001. MPAA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 89 MIN.


Rick - Jason London
Jack Majors - Lee Majors
Ted Muntz - Willie Garson
Luke - Zach Galifianakis
Stumpy - David Koechner
Anthony - Flex Alexander
Jenny - A.J. Cook
Lance - David Denman
Anna - Caroline Dhavernas
Pig Pen - Derek Hamilton
Eric - Thomas Lennon
Inga - Victoria Silvstedt
Papa Muntz - Lewis Arquette
Barry - Todd Richards

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