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:: Extreme Ops

An extreme sports commercial director and producer team buckle under their Japanese investors wishes and agree to film a commercial in the Austrian slops for a digital camera. Mission: to film this extremely dangerous commercial and assemble skiing/snow boarding talent for trip. We have: the director Ian (Rufus Sewell, desperately trying to make sense the best he possibly can of a nonsensical script), dorky, love-stricken camera operator Will (Devon Sawa), and the talented, beautiful Olympic Gold medallist skier, whom nobody likes, Chloe (Bridgette Wilson-Sampras), living on the edge, cool-chick, rocker-girl, Kittie (German actress Jana Pallaske) and daredevil have-no-fear, Silo (Joe Absolom). That’s probably it in a nutshell. However I do think more happens. It is a 93-minute film after all. Surely it couldn’t have just been 93 minutes of skiing stunt sequences and not much else?

So nobody likes Chloe because she’s different. She’s a trained skier - she has to learn how to live on the edge like the rest of them and they are not impressed with the Gold medal she wears around her neck to bed. Will has the hots for Kitty and Silo has it for Chloe and Ian just wants his mobile phone to be in range and film the damn commercial. They all get drunk one night in an outdoor snow spa and become friends. Meanwhile their producer Jeffrey (Rupert Graves) is a pain in the ass and is in it for the money. There is lots of skiing.

Ah yes, there is a weak subplot involving a Serbian war criminal who faked his own death and whom Will accidentally filmed on his camera whilst trying to follow some hot babe in a Russian furry hat. Pavle (ex-dead war crim) believes these filmmakers are F.B.I. and attempts to assassinate them. And there’s the accidental death of Pavle’s son, oh, with lots and lots of skiing in between. Of course they escape the unescapable and capture the money shot just as they’re about to be blown up. Mission accomplished.

The most interesting aspect of the film is the skiing/snowboarding sequences as to the untrained eye do look authentic enough, however I have been assured otherwise. Authentic or not, it is not enough to sustain a feature length film. Once the plot (or lack of one) finally kicks in the ending is approaching fast and near, which essentially leaves the audience with no room to care. It is definitely a case of too little too late with too much skiing in between.

Directed by Christian Duguay, it is interesting to note that he also is an extreme skier (along with 178 stuntmen used for the 93-minute film, that’s almost two per minute!) and camera operator. Like director Ian in the film, he also choose the path of you’ve got to be in it to win it, placing himself right in the scenes to capture the best possible sequences. If you like skiing look no further.