Eye For Film >> Movies >> Chill Factor (1999) Film Review
Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray
When credibility is abused as much as it is here, there's nothing left to do but laugh.
A gang of expensively equipped, well-disciplined mercenaries, led by a disgraced US army officer (Peter Firth), who says things like: "This country trained me to kill with compulsion", is chasing a wisecracking petty thief (Cuba Gooding Jr) and "a soda jerk drifter" (Skeet Ulrich) in a clapped out ice cream van, along Montana's twisty mountain roads. "Why?", you ask. A better question would be, "Where's the thrill? A kid on roller skates could catch these goons."
For the record, the van carries a chemical device that will explode at 50-degrees centigrade - thus the need for refrigeration - and cause nuclear-style devastation. The bad guys want to sell the weapon on the international black market. The good guys want to save the world and stay alive. The film is a reminder of how well directed Speed was and that James Bond stunts can't be replicated on the cheap.
Once the absurdity of the situation has destroyed any semblance of excitement, what's left? Ulrich being cool, Gooding providing comic relief, Firth metamorphosing as a ruthless redneck. "Power without caution is death," he warns, not that anyone's listening. Caution went out the window a long time ago.Reviewed on: 05 Sep 2007