Extreme Ops
1 out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
fear is a trigger One of the dumbest action movies in recent memory (and that's saying a lot), this is so bad it's almost fun to watch. Well, at least it features some awesome stunt work. The botched-job of a plot centres on a video production team--bull-headed director (Sewell), clueless producer (Graves), fearless cameraman (Sawa), danger expert (Ferch)--making an extreme sports TV ad. After filming a dangerous kayak stunt they head for the Austrian Alps to shoot footage of extreme skiers--medal-winning rich girl (Wilson-Sampras), skilful daredevil (Absolom), death-wish snowboarder (Pallaske)--outrunning an avalanche. Strangely, they end up staying at an unfinished mountaintop resort, where they accidentally stumble upon a Serb bad guy (Lowitsch) with a nefarious plan.

Basically this is a series of jaw-dropping action sequences strung together with an illogical and staggeringly inane storyline that tries desperately to generate tension, romance, drama and comedy, with no success at all. All we laugh at is the bone-headed dialog and each heavy thud of the next painfully moronic plot point. The cast is game for it, though, giving it their all (except Graves, who knows he's just comic relief). The Serbians are just so preposterous you can't believe someone dared to even put these characters on screen. Honestly, what could any actor do with characters like these? That said, director Duguay stages the action skilfully, and gets some amazing imagery on screen with out the help of digital effects (or so he says). These are completely insane stunts, defying all reason in order to get some cool imagery on the screen. It's a pity they didn't jettison the ludicrous plot and make an Imax documentary instead.

cert 12 themes, violence, language, brief nudity 9.May.03

dir Christian Duguay
scr Michael Zaidan
with Rufus Sewell, Rupert Graves, Devon Sawa, Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, Heino Ferch, Joe Absolom, Jana Pallaske, Klaus Lowitsch, Jean-Pierre Castaldi, Liliana Komorowska, David Scheller, Heinrich Schmieder
release US 27.Nov.02; UK 16.May.03
Paramount
02/US 1h33

Ride the rail. Four daredevils refuse to travel inside the train carriage (Absolom, Pallaske, Sawa and, partially, Wilson-Sampras)

sewell graves sawa
R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
send your review to Shadows... apre-ski in a makeshift hottub - yeah right "Hmmm. I really like the film because I was completely entertained. I didn't have any expectations; all I wanted to see was the action, the scenery and feel the adrenaline. I liked it so much I watched it 2 times in a row. I love Europe and I have been there many times; I love the scenery; I liked it so much because I feel that I am there; I can relate to these people being there. I didn't care too much for the dialogue because I was enjoying the action, the ride, the scenery and most of all the energy that these people have doing these stunts. Definitely a pure entertainment and extreme rush of adrenaline." --Solstrale, California 23.Jun.03
2003 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

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