Cool as Ice (1991)

Genres - Action, Romance  |   Release Date - Oct 18, 1991 (USA)  |   Run Time - 95 min.  |   Countries - United States  |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by Skyler Miller

From its opening dance sequence with Naomi Campbell to its laughable action finale, Cool as Ice is so unapologetic in its naive cheesiness that it transcends mere awfulness and enters into the realm of true camp entertainment. Erstwhile rapper Vanilla Ice makes a thoroughly unlikable leading man in this haphazard combination of rebel movie, music video, romantic comedy, and crime drama, but it sure is fun to look at those crazy designs he has shaved in the back of his head. Ice plays Johnny Van Owen, a thuggish jerk who gets stranded in a small town and proceeds to woo the innocent Kathy (Kristen Minter) with all the subtlety and charm of an obsessed stalker. It's love at first sight when Johnny recklessly jumps a fence with his motorcycle, causing Kathy to be thrown from a horse in slow motion. The relationship is then advanced with poetic pick-up lines like "Drop that zero and get with the hero," and confirmed by a date at an abandoned construction site. Johnny even finds time to save Kathy's family from corrupt cops, beat up a miscreant or two, and perform some embarrassing rap at a local club. The nonsensical plot is just one of many bizarre treats the movie has to offer, including Ice's variety of garish outfits, otherworldly dialogue like "Whackhead was playin' baseball on my homeboy's bike," and the admittedly striking cinematography of future Oscar-winner Janusz Kaminski. Cool as Ice is not only a freakish time capsule of early '90s rap-pop and clueless Hollywood commercialism, but also one of the best bad movies of its time.