Reviewed by: Jonathan Potts
VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect families? Answer
Starring: Cuba Gooding Jr., Skeet Ulrich, Peter Firth, David Paymer | Director: Hugh Johnson | Writers: Drew Gitlin, Mike Cheda
It seems that the summer of ’99 has been cheated out of its usual hungry-man serving of big-budget action movies. The menu has included “Wild Wild West,” “Star Wars: Episode I” and now “Chill Factor”.
Johnny Depp-clone Skeet Ulrich and Oscar® winner Cuba Gooding Jr. have to deliver a sensitive chemical weapon to the military before it falls into the hands of terrorists. The weapon must be kept cool because it will detonate if it reaches 50 degrees.
There are some truly unique things about this film. Firstly, even though it is a summer action flick, “Chill Factor” doesn't have the usual $75-$100 million dollar budget. Secondly, Cuba Gooding Jr. co-stars in an atypical role. Lastly, “Chill Factor” is the only film that has been declared by The Washington Post to be a “direct rip-off of Speed.” Sound suspenseful? Maybe, but Cuba and Skeet’s “Chill Factor” partnership effort turns out to be more funny than frightful. The dialogue is jam-packed-full of one-liners, smart-guy comments, bad-guy cliches, not to mention sailor-like swearing. And it appears that Cuba, in his first action-hero role, is focused much more on being funny than heroic. When all is said and done, his performance seems caffeinated and over-acted.
But seriously, we all need to laugh a little, and “Chill Factor”’s comedy is definitely its coolest attribute. Guidelines: other than swearing, “Chill Factor” contains graphic violence which could frighten young children.