Cool Runnings (1993)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012 0 comments

       This was supposedly my entry during the time of the London Olympics but I haven't finished it then (Always my excuse!). Anyway, this post is regarding one of the Olympic movies I know way back when I was still a kid. I never really knew the title of this movie, and never really watched the full movie yet,  so I just searched it up as "Sledger Jaimaca Olympics", and I found it!

Cool Runnings (Comedy)
            The story is about a Jamaican sprinter Derice Bannock (Leon) who at the start of the film is just one run away in qualifying for the Olympics, but with an unfortunate mishap, his dreams got torn apart along with  two other runners. But that did not stop him, he eventually thought of a way for him to still compete for the Olympics, and that is when the first Jamaican Bobsled team started. 

         He asked his best friend, Sanka Coffie (Doug E. Doug), a 7th time push cart derby champion, to join his team. Then, the two looked for Irv Blitzer (John Candy), a two-time bobsledding champion in the Olympics and a good friend of Derice's father who is also an Olympic gold medalist. And with a lot of convincing, they made him agree to be their coach. They completed their team having Junior Bevil (Rawle D. Lewis) and Yul Brenner (Malik Yoba), the two other sprinter who failed to make it to the Olympic track team. They soon began their practice using a bobsled-like cart with wheels. 

   Having not enough time to train, no money, no bobsled and the yet to come unbearable cold temperature, still, nothing could hinder their team from giving up. Against all odds and just loaded with their dreams and perseverance, off they went to Canada for the 1988 Winter Olympic Games. They were seen as underdogs, seemingly bringing dishonor to the Olympics. With all the laughing at their faces, not to mention a discredited coach and last-minute changing of rules, they've been on a rough, cold road. But at the end they still proved that they deserve to be there and represent their country. 

           I really liked the story of the film (considering also that it is based on a true story, just imagine it happened in real life! But wait, there's more by the end of this entry). Though the subplots may seem cliched and a lot of "I knew that was going to happen" moments,  I would still say that his is a Disney feel good movie worth watching! It's super funny , just as I remembered it to be. Imagine a winter sport in a tropical country? What an interesting thought that sums up all the fun! I mean it! You will not just smile but really laugh especially with Sanka! Hilarious! One of the films about pursuing your dreams, making giving up as not an option. Shouting out loud, to fight for your dreams, all the way, even at times, it seems that you're the only one who believes in your self. And when the time comes that you fall, always think that you could always start anew. It doesn't matter what people say about you, what matters is what you believe that you have within you. 

             My favorite moment was, of course, the part where they crashed and still brought their bobsled to the finish line, plus the slow clapping. That part really got me into tears. So inspiring! Though they did not won in the Olympics, they have truly won the hearts of the people, especially of their countrymen.

            This movie is actually based loosely on the true story of the first Jamaican Bobsled team. Here are some of the differences the movie had from the real thing, quoted from Wikipedia.

Irving Blitzer is a fictional character; the real team had several trainers, none of whom were connected to any cheating scandal.

The bobsledders portrayed in the film are fictional, although the people who conceived the idea of a Jamaican bobsled team were inspired by pushcart racers and tried to recruit top track sprinters. However, they did not find any elite sprinters interested in competing and instead recruited four sprinters from the army for the team.

Completely unlike the story in the film, the Jamaican team was not in conflict with any of the other international bobsledding teams. Other teams were, in fact, supportive of the Jamaican team. One of the other teams even lent the Jamaican team a backup sled so they could qualify.

In the film, the Jamaicans are on world-record pace during the final run of the competition when their sled crashes. They emerge from the sled and carry it across the finish line. In real life, however, the crash occurred before the finals (eliminating the Jamaicans) and Jamaica was not on a world-record pace. However, real-life footage of the crash was used in the film. After the crash, the team walked next to their sled as track officials slid it down the track. They received sporadic applause, but not a rhythmic slow clap as in the movie

             A lot of difference, isn't it? I guess that's how screenplay works, got to put much more impact than the real one! After all, it must be unforgettable. Anyway, another cool fact, I saw in the credits at the end, it was Malik Yoba who created the Jamaican Bobsledding chant! "Nuff people say they know they can't believe. Jamaica, we have a bobsled team!" That was really catchy isn't it? (For those who have watched this already). For other cool facts, trivia, anachronisms, continuity errors, see IMDb's trivia and goof page, you'll learn a lot!

          Just to share, because of this movie, the Jamaican flag has become my favorite flag (Ha! Who has a favorite flag?!) and I grew to love Reggae sounding music or effects (Oh yes! Bob Marley and the Rastafari movement colors!).


This is it! Peace be thy Journey!


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