Cool Runnings

John Turtletaub, USA 1993, 98 minutes

Few would believe that a country with a tropical climate would be successful in winter sports. However, in 1988, Jamaica entered the bobsleigh competition of the Winter Olympics.

Cool Runnings is a comic tribute to that first Jamaican bobsled team. John Candy stars as Irv Blitzer an American bobsleder who cheated and got caught. He does however believe that, fundamentally, "good sprinters make good bobsleders". The film duly follows the comic selection of a group of sprinters and follows how they trained for an event in a country that has never seen snow, much less ice.

Cool Runnings was to be the film that started an upswing in John Candy's career as a lead actor, several previous films failing miserably at the box office. Sadly this was one of his last successes. John Candy died in his sleep of a heart attack on the 4th of March 1994 whilst making Wagons East, which was completed but only with existing footage (sadly this was to be another poorly received film and an inadequate epitaph for such an accomplished comedy actor).

Cool Runnings is a highly enjoyable film based on a true story, keeping any audience smiling from beginning to end. It is equally one John Candy can justifiably be remembered by.

Review by Mark Bauer
Taken from EUFS Programme 1997-98