Everyone needs a film that boosts their mood, or helps them go to sleep happy. Or, even just something that you can watch without having to concentrate. Cool Runnings is that film for me.
Cool Runnings starts by introducing us to our main characters almost immediately. We instantly learn what is important to them, whether that be running, pushcart racing, or more generally, their country. The light-hearted comedy is present right from the start. Derice, a motivated young Jamaican makes fun of his friend Sanka, and Sanka replies with a witty one liner. We are then introduced to our other main characters Yul and Junior and the comedy and character development continues when we are shown what kind of relationship these two will have through the film.
The story – to keep it simple, develops quickly when Derice after failing to make it to the Olympics wants to find another route to success, so he can fulfil his dream of becoming an athlete.
Although Sanka is mortified by the thought of being near that much ice, he is loyal to his friend and instantly joins him on his hunt for a coach, and team members. They contact gold medallist Irving Blitzer and nag him, and push him to his limit until he finally agrees to help them out. They gather more people for their team and enough money to get them to Calgary. Yul and Junior join them, and off to Canada they go ready to compete.
For such a simple story on paper, it must be emphasised that this film is so much more than just a story about some athletes that did fine. Messages about more than just aspiration and determination flood this film, and being set in the 80s, race is still a big issue here. Yet this is not something thrown in our faces throughout this film. Even through the comedy there are clear moments where the creators of this film wanted to portray the idea that anything can be done, if you are willing to commit.
The cast in this film fit the characters that are being displayed consistently. Sense of humour, of course, is bound to differ from viewer to viewer. The characters, though, have obviously been thought out enough so that it isn’t just sappy, standard ‘U’ rated film level of comedy. There is a character for every person to relate to, or a reaction to amuse everyone.
Admittedly, this isn’t a film that is a cinematic masterpiece, the way it was shot wasn’t exactly thought out extensively, the script isn’t phenomenal, it is a simple film, but it just suits what it is. I don’t think anything more could be added, or anything taken away. The score sets the tone for the film as soon as you press play. The colours used in the opening credits just fill me with joy, the pacing of the film is spot on because it doesn’t drag yet we know enough about, and understand enough about the characters for it to hit the spot.
It all just fits. Cool Runnings is my comfort film, it makes me feel better when I’m sad, or sick. It’s fun to just have on if there’s nothing good on TV. It’s a classic that just makes you feel great, and should be watched by anyone that hasn’t, and likes easy-to-watch films… or just really likes bobsleds.
It deserves the hype it has always gotten, and will hopefully continue to get.
As per, nice one Disney.