Some awesome helicopter shots of showboating snowboarders tearing through powder on pristine 70-degree inclines runs under the opening titles of "Out Cold," an elementary comedy about party-hardy slope bums who use the word "dude" like a comma. The movie's closing credits play over some bloopers and the opening scene's badly biffed outtakes. The wipeouts are even more spectacular than the successful runs.
As for what's in between, therein lies the problem.
The entire plot is laid out in two lines of dialogue uttered almost back-to-back during the opening scene at a scruffy bar in rural Bull Mountain, Alaska. "Maybe the buyer can supply the mountain with what it really needs: really hot chicks!" exclaims one interchangeable stoner dude, regarding the greedy developer who wants to turn the town into an Aspen-like resort of condos and $4 cups of coffee. About 30 seconds later, he pipes up again to opine on the love life of a pal who is still pining for an old girlfriend: "Rick, you're an idiot not to go for Jenny!"
Fill in a few blanks and there you have it -- pretty boy slacker Rick (Jason London) will get with snow bunny Jenny (A.J. Cook) in the last reel while saving Bull Mountain from the clutches of a HumVee-driving, Colorado cowboy millionaire (played with mucho gusto by Lee Majors).
"Out Cold" offers sporadic bursts of funny dialogue ("I know it sucks that they're ruining the town and all, but this is the best vanilla latte I've ever tasted in my life!") or the occasional creative sight gag (the bar's Men's Room door leads outside, where guys write their names in the snow). But it is otherwise padded with stock and token characters, dopey practical jokes, cameos by talentless Playboy Playmates, lots of drunk-and-horny filler gags and two weak snowboarding sequences so badly edited that they're actually boring.
First-time directing team Brendan and Emmett Malloy (they've done videos for Blink 182 and the Foo Fighters) also attempt a lifeless spoof of/homage to "Casablanca" between generic Rick and his One That Got Away (Caroline Dhavernas) before moving on to an anti-climactic finale in which the snowboarders disrupt Majors' pitch to potential investors.
Had more than a trifling effort been put into the writing and directing, "Out Cold" could have been a black diamond run of energetic goofball gags -- a "Caddyshack" of winter sports, if you will. But the inexperienced and bumbling Malloys never even try to graduate the picture off the bunny slope.
Run time: 89 mins
In Theaters: Wednesday 21st November 2001
Box Office USA: $13.9M
Box Office Worldwide: $14.8M
Distributed by: Buena Vista Distribution Compa
Production compaines: Spyglass Entertainment, Touchstone Pictures
Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 8%
Fresh: 4 Rotten: 45
IMDB: 6.3 / 10
Starring: Jason London as Rick Rambis, Lee Majors as John Majors, Zach Galifianakis as Luke, David Koechner as Stumpy, Willie Garson as Ted Muntz, A.J. Cook as Jenny, Victoria Silvstedt as Inga, Caroline Dhavernas as Anna, Lewis Arquette as Papa Muntz, Flex Alexander as Anthony, Derek Hamilton as Pig Pen