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Action in the snow
for the easily amused
sports fan
Bridgette Wilson, Devon Sawa

"Extreme Ops"

Reviewed by Carlos deVillalvilla

(Click on the images to see larger versions and credits.)

OK, I admit it. Iím turning into my dad. When it comes to extreme sports, I am a complete curmudgeon. I find little in skateboarding, wakeboarding, snowboarding or any other boarding you care to name that is worth exploring. In fact, the whole extreme sports lifestyle seems to be a celebration of ego and immediate self-gratification. Itís adrenaline junkies extending a hearty middle finger to the rest of the world in search of bigger, badder thrills.

So like any phenomenon, Hollywood recognizes that there will be a built-in audience for any film celebrating it. ''Extreme Ops'' takes a group of extreme sports stars Ė the nerdy Will (Devon Sawa), the studly Silo (Joe Absolom), the beautiful Chloe (Bridgette Wilson) and the rambunctious Kitty (Jana Pallaske) to a remote Alpine lodge under construction for the filming of a commercial for Japanese television. The director, Ian (Rufus Sewell) winds up being something of a babysitter for his discipline-challenged charges.

Of course, there is also a real bad guy hanging out there, a Serbian terrorist whom the world believes dead, which suits him just fine because heís planning some major nastiness that depends on the world believing that heís dead. Now comes the kid with a mini-cam capturing the face of the terrorist on tape Ė and of course, the kid doesnít know this guy from Adam Ė and now the Big Nasty Terrorists have some housecleaning to do.

Since these kids canít fight, they choose escape and of course this leads to some ''to the extreme'' ski and snowboard stunts as they try to get down the mountain. However, thereís not much more to the movie than that.

When I go see a Bond picture or a clone (such as ''xXx''), I go for the action sequences, and ''Extreme Ops'' has several worth checking out. Unfortunately, the poorly-written plot, the cardboard characterization, the wooden acting and nonsensical leaps of logic took turns irritating me and boring me. If it wasnít for the loud rock soundtrack, Iíd have probably caught a nice nap.

Iím sure there are pimply-faced teens out there who pumped their fist and screamed ''RAD-I-CAL'' in cracked voices during some of the action scenes, but even they were probably bored by the rest of this steaming heap of cinematic dung. For the discerning action film fan, try ''xXx'' or any Bond film for your adrenaline fix. For the rest of us, please donít step in the ''Extreme Ops,'' you might get it on your shoes.

Available on DVD:

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