Extreme Ops (2002) / Action-Thriller
MPAA Rated: PG-13 for violence/peril, language and some nudity
Running Time: 94 min.
Cast: Rufus Sewell, Bridgette Wilson, Devon Sewa, Heino Firch, Joe Absolom, Jana Pallaske
Director: Christian Duguay
Screenplay: Michael Zaidan
Review published November 21, 2002
"EXTREME CRAP" is a far more appropriate title.
After suffering through the mindless trash that was XXX, I should have known better than to attempt to sit through yet another extreme sports noise-fest. As bad as the Vin Diesel flick is, EXTREME OPS is even be worse, because this one has the ridiculous Gen X mindset and premise. What this means is that in addition to the brainless action and explosions, we also have to endure idiotic pranks and moments of bad drama where the only questions on anyone's mind alternates between, "How can I get in her pants?" and "If I get her drunk, will I be able to get in her pants?"
Just like XXX, EXTREME OPS contains a flimsy and farfetched plot from a script that could have been shot in 20 minutes if not for the music video interludes of hot-dogging extreme sports action. The dumb premise here is that these young and gifted athletes must travel to the Alps in Austria so that they can get footage of them outrunning an avalanche to be used in a commercial. However, unknown to them is that their shoot happens to be in proximity to a war criminal, Slobodan Pavle, who doesn't want anyone to discover his whereabouts. Now Slobodan is after the young twirps resulting in daredevil theatrics for survival.
There are certain things you know are going to be a given here, so let's get them out of the way. We all know this film is merely an excuse to squeeze in about 45 minutes of screen time to snowboarding, parachuting and people doing flips off of anything and everything that is more than two feet off of the ground. We also know that during these scenes we're going to be treated to a non-stop barrage of completely forgettable techno, hip hop and hard rock. Lastly, we know the finale is going to involve an avalanche, and most likely it will be during a battle for their lives. Everything comes to pass just as planned.
The real question is whether or not what happens in between all of this is worth our time. I can't be anymore emphatic in my answer of "NO!" My mind drifted through most of the movie, but during the rare moments when something did garner my attention, I heard people with bad accents talking to each other in English for some reason. Oh, there's a scene where the kids play Truth or Dare and someone gets naked, and another scene where clothes are taken off at gunpoint, and another where someone is held from the roof of a building by his ankles. It's just that kind of movie.
I cannot fathom that there's anyone out there I can recommend EXTREME OPS to. Not even people who liked XXX. This is about as monotonous as action films get these days. Paramount should be ashamed that $40 million went to investing in such trash while there are great scripts out there with no one to fund them.
All TV spots and movie posters should have a Surgeon General's warning, "Watching EXTREME OPS May Result in Severe Boredom, Nausea, and Brain Atrophy."
©2002 Vince Leo