“Carpe the Diem. Seize the Carp”: ‘Out Cold’ Review
Continuing Kulture Shocked’s month long celebration of sports movies, we venture into the hilarious debaucheries of Out Cold starring Jason London, A.J. Cook, and Zach Galifianakis.
The story follows a group of snowboarders as they try to save the ski village in which they work from becoming a resort, thanks to the plans of John Majors (played with an evil gusto by Lee Majors). Romance, snowboarding, and debauchery collide in this hilarious sports comedy featuring an all-star of the cast of then up and coming comedy actors.
Aside from the great snowboarding footage (which is legitimately solid), Out Cold features a bevy of comedic talent including early film appearances from David Koechner, Caroline Dhavernas, and Thomas Lennon. Directed by Emmett and Brandon Malloy, who made their name directing music videos for bands like Metallica and Blink 182, Out Cold is both a parody of ski movies and a delightfully comedic tale of friendship of rowdy proportions in the vein of college comedies.
Part of the reason that Out Cold doesn’t always stick the landing is its confusion; at times the film doesn’t know what it wants to be. Is it a parody of sports movies or does it feel more comfortable being a raunchy, college-esque comedy about friends who are trying to save their workplace? For me, Out Cold works better when it ditches the focus on its sports comedy angle and focuses on the bond between the group of friends getting in wacky, hilarious situations, which often include snowboarding montages.
The Malloys’ film includes montages galore that would’ve been right at home in an '80s movie and plenty of juvenile jokes that make it a companion to something akin to an American Pie spinoff, but one of the things that save this entry into the genre is its cast. It’s pretty amazing to see the great comedic talent that Out Cold has including Galifianakis, Lennon, Koechner and much more before they went on to become incredible comedic stars. It is during their scenes of debauchery and fun that you get a sense of energy from the film and this hilarious rapport between each character but other than that it’s a film that is at odds with itself and what it wants to be as a whole.
At a brisk 89 minutes, Out Cold moves at a fast pace but never quite manages to make up for it’s by the numbers “take back what is ours” plot that it has into something truly memorable or inventive. With its early 2000s soundtrack (you can tell this movie came out in 2001 simply by looking at the band list in the track listing) and firm snowboarding cinematography, Out Cold is an interesting misfire that doesn’t quite gel together as a cohesive experience. While fans of its talented cast might want to check it out simply to see these actors before they were stars, I’d recommend experiencing other snowboarding movies or simply movies featuring skiing, including a couple of James Bond films like On her Majesty’s Secret Service.