Release Date: October 1st, 1993
Genre: Comedy, Sports
When I was in junior high school, the school showed Cool Runnings to the whole building. We all piled into the gym and both grades in the school spent about two hours in there watching this movie, talking to our friends and just having fun. That was about twenty seven or twenty eight years ago. With the 2022 Winter Olympics starting this month and with a Jamaican bobsled team in this years games, I figured it was time to watch this movie again. After watching this movie again, I found the movie to still be funny and a decent sports movie.
Cool Runnings is a movie that is inspired by the first Jamaican four man bobsled team that competed in the 1988 Winter Olympics. The plot of the movie is Dercie (played by Leon), a hopeful Jamaican sprinter, misses out on making the team along with two other sprinters due to falling during the qualifying race for the 1988 Summer Olympics. He then decides to try to make it into the 1988 Winter Olympics with the help Irwing Blitzer (played by John Candy), a former USA gold medalist in bobsledding who now lives in Jamaica. Along with the other two sprinters and Dercie's friend Sanka, they create a four man bobsled team who only have a few months to get ready to qualify and then compete in the Olympic games. The movie continues into there comedic training, issues working together, the disrespect of other bobsled riders who think they don;t belong, how almost no one likes there coach for his past deeds, trying to make it into the games and it all leads to a somewhat feel good ending.
Watching this movie as an adult, I felt like I enjoyed the humor more than I did as a kid. I also appreciated the story more as even though this is a comedy movie, it is also a movie about not giving up no matter what obstacles come your way. John Candy did a good job playing the disgraced medalist turned coach and his brand of humor on screen, to me, only helps this movie. The four actors who played the bobsled team members, (Leon, Doug E. Doug, Rawle D. Lewis and Malik Yoba) also did a good job in this movie and I felt there interactions on screen worked well and helped me enjoy this movie more. Overall I had no problems with the acting or the pacing of the story.
When I was a kid watching this for the first time, I thought everything that happened in the movie happened in real life for these athletes. I was a kid and I didn't know any better plus we didn't have things like Wikipedia and IMDB. The reality is that the movie was inspired by the Jamaican bobsled team and most of the movie is far from accurate. Looking at the real life events. the movie would have been far less entertaining if they followed everything that happened exactly in real life. While I probably would have enjoyed a movie that was more documentary focused, I liked how everything was portrayed in the movie. The movie was designed to be shown to the masses and it works in that regard.
In the end, this is a movie that I enjoyed more as an adult than as a kid. The main actors all did good jobs with there characters, the story/pacing of the movie kept me engaged and I liked the overall theme of the movie that is a comedy movie but transitions itself into a decent sports movie. More importantly, the movie also shows what can happen when you have a dream and you do whatever you have to to try and achieve it with the realization that not everything has to be about winning. That last part is something I didn't realize or pick on as a kid. I'm glad I took the time to watch this movie again.