Cool Runnings was a 1993 comedy-sports film that was truly defined by the 90s era of simple comedies with a simple premise. No scatological humor, no f-bombs, no awkward sexual tension. It relied on the talent of its stars, the unlikely premise, and witty dialogue to bring us a humorous movie. It is directed by Jon Turteltaub and stars Leon Robinson, Doug E. Doug, Rawle D. Lewis, Malik Yoba, and John Candy in one of his final film roles.
In 1988, Derice Bannock dreams of running in the Summer Olympics on the Jamaican track team. However, runner Junior Bevil trips and falls, preventing him and another runner Yul Brenner from being on the team. While unsuccessfully begging for the Olympic commission to reconsider, he spots a photograph with his father and Irv Blitzer, a bobsledding coach.
Bannock and his best friend Sanka Coffie seek out Blitzer, who is disgraced after cheating in the 1972 Winter Olympics. After Junior sponsors their team with money taken from his father, Bannock, Brenner, Coffie, and Bevil begin training and soon arrive in Calgary, Canada to train for the Winter Olympics. The other nations treat the Caribbean team like a joke, with little or no respect causing friction within the team. However, they soon bond over their desire to win.
These were the days when a comedy could be be funny in a very simple way. The cohesion of the actors is impressive and their dialogue with each other is genuinely comedic. John Candy’s role is more serious than usual, but that does not take away from his wit and charm as an actor.
Jon Turteltaub takes the helm of this Disney film. The 90s was different. The 21st century is marked with movies that have massive budgets and ensemble casts. However, in the 90s, you could make a very decent film with lesser known actors and still be a success. Turteltaub is evidence of that.
Though this film is based on actual events, several of the details and character names were changed to make the film more humorous. It is a lighthearted comedy that you can enjoy with your whole family. Today, those films are becoming an endangered species.
FAVORITE QUOTE: Yul Brenner?
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Sports violence, some foul language
Here’s a tidbit: Hans Zimmer, who did the music for The Dark Knight trilogy, did the music for Cool Runnings. I wondered why the music was so good while watching it.
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This article has been updated from a previous version.