Bullet Points: Extreme Ops
The early 2000’s were all about getting “extreme”. So extreme, sometimes, that we dropped that first “e” and just straight-up spelled that shit with an X. Times were wild back then, I know. What isn’t wild, though, is the amount of action that is in Extreme Ops. It’s a good thing they left the “e” at the beginning. I bet this movie would have been off the chain if it had been X-TREME Ops!
Synopsis: A group of extreme sports competitors and enthusiasts are caught off guard when they cross paths with a thought-to-be dead Serbian General while on location filming a commercial in the mountains. Their only way to get away from the killers is to use all of their extreme skills to evade the men long enough to reach help.
- Pedigree: Director Christian Duguay had a pretty good 90’s. He had directed the Pierce Brosnan bomb movie Live Wire, 1995’s Screamers starring Peter Weller, and The Assignment in 1997 that followed the story of Carlos the Jackal. He began 2000 by making The Art of War with Wesley Snipes, which may have been his last good movie before dropping off and doing nothing but shitty DTV movies for about a decade. Duguay works with a few good things in Extreme Ops. The cast is competent but not fantastic and the location looks great but the story is downright stupid. It drags the movie down from the first frame till the last. It’s a shame that Duguay’s career took a nosedive after Extreme Ops because I think he had better abilities than this movie ever allows him to show.
- The Cast: The team is led by Rufus Sewell, or as I like to call him; “the bad guy from A Knights Tale“. I can’t act like he was a good fit for this movie but I don’t really have many reasons why. If you watch it you’ll notice that he just always feels out of place. Like he showed up to do some updated version of Macbeth but they handed him this script at the last minute instead. Devon Sawa of Final Destination fame is also a member of their crew. He looks ridiculous with his ska band hair and peach fuzz face. Rounding out the group of people that I actually recognized was Bridgette Wilson-Sampras. She played Sonja Blade in Mortal Kombat and then married Pete Sampras and learned what real money was. She’s still very cute, even 7 or 8 years after Billy Madison as she plays what I would call Lindsay Vonn before Lindsay Vonn even existed.
- The first two acts: Most of the movie is spent getting to know all the members of the crew. They do some cool looking stunts at the beginning and then later once they get to the mountain but it’s nothing that I haven’t see in a Mountain Dew commercial. These first 60 minutes or so drag this movie to an unbearably slow grind. We’re introduced to characters, we see them party and try to have fun being all wild and extreme, all the while, never really caring about any of them. Rufus Sewell might be the best actor in the bunch but he may have had the worst written part of any of them. He probably only says 13 words in the entire movie and as much as I hated to admit it, Devon Sawa might have been the most likeable in the bunch.
- Just a Kiss: The smartest thing the movie did was have a very brief and not very sexy scene with Bridgette Wilson and fellow hottie Jana Pallaske kissing. Even the bad guys see a video of it and try to force them at gunpoint to replicate it.
- Speaking of the Bad Guys: The team accidentally stumbles upon a Serbian General who had faked his death to escape war crimes. He and his men learn that they’ve been spotted and chase down the extreme bunch. The bad guys are so inept that they never think to just wait at the bottom of the mountain for them to come down to kill them. They hover around in their stolen helicopter just long enough for one of the idiots on skis to figure out a way to crash them. It’s seriously one of the most disappointing bits of action I’ve seen in a long time. For all the money that they spent on the extreme parts of this movie, they could have very easily said that one of their guides or someone used to be an elite soldier of some kind and had him fight it out with the bad guys for 20 minutes or so while the other tucked tail and ran.
The Verdict: Extreme Ops was an extremely poor choice in movies for me to watch. It had an extremely lame story with extremely boring characters and extremely bad action. The villains were extremely forgettable and the worst part was the extreme lack of skin from all the hot chicks. It would be an extremely bad idea if you guys decided to watch this movie. Run away. Or ski away if you must… just don’t do it.