Cool as Ice

★½☆☆☆
Cool as Ice

I took notes while watching Cool as Ice, which is something I sometimes do. Usually I take notes when I’m watching Christian movies, so I’ll remember all the ridiculous things about them, but I thought that this was going to be a movie with loads of ridiculous things worth remembering. I was pretty much right, and I’m tempted to just copy down the notes that I have word for word.

So here’s what the movie is about. Vanilla Ice rides into town on his Kawasaki motorbike and falls in love with an uptown girl who has been living in her white-bread world. Said girl’s father is not happy with this arrangement, mostly because Vanilla keeps appearing to be a merciless gangster on accident. For instance, thugs leave a threatening note on the family’s porch – when Vanilla goes to see the one he adores, he delivers the note and it looks as though he was the one threatening the family!

Ah, but that plot is unimportant. What’s important is that this is a movie starring Vanilla Ice! I don’t think that you understand yet just how awesome that is. Here, take the opening sequence – literally five minutes of Vanilla Ice rapping about ‘taking’ women while dancing around and holding a spotlight. In the first real scene of the movie, Vanilla is walking through an alley or something with his posse of tough looking black guys. A girl stops Vanilla in order to give him her phone number… because he’s so unbelievably sexy and cool! Later on, when things start getting lame, the interminably suave Vanilla Ice (wearing black leather jacket and shades) announces that he’s going to go “across the street to, uh, schling a schlong.” This is after he races a horse on his Kawasaki motorbike and jumps a fence without any sort of springboard.

I’ll admit that I had some trouble deciding whether or not the ridiculous aspects of the movie were intentional. There is an accident and one of Vanilla’s pals has to go to a wacky mechanic to fix his bike. I say “wacky mechanic” because the couple who were entrusted to correct the vehicle’s problems acted a lot like Miracle Max and his wife from The Princess Bride. Also, they lived in a colorful house that could have come straight out of the world of Pee-Wee Herman. None of the characters seem at all surprised by the fact that the walls are painted with random words, that there are giant salt shakers and blue eggs, etc. One member of Vanilla’s posse happily creates a pickles & sardine & peanut butter & pineapple sandwich. It almost seems trippy enough to be honestly semi-surreal.

But then Vanilla is at the school prom, turning a bunch of geeks into hip-hoppers, and it feels like the movie is blissfully ignorant of how absurd this all is. It’s difficult not to assume that Vanilla Ice is speaking from the heart when he refers to himself as a genius and proceeds to beat up six guys who were attacking him with a series of karate chops. There’s no attempt at a wink and a nod to let the audience know that, hey, the filmmakers are in on the joke and hey, we’re just trying to have some fun and do something different. No, as far as I can tell, we’re intended to take the movie seriously and to actually care about how the story turns out. Will Vanilla Ice get the girl, or will the mob get him first? Does it even matter?

I did like the way the film ended; or rather, the way that the kerfuffle with the girl’s dad and our hero Vanilla ended. It wasn’t groundbreaking or anything, but I was surprised to see that Vanilla’s character actually had some motivations beyond just being the star of a movie called Cool as Ice.

All in all, it’s pretty funny and probably better with friends. Not absolutely horrible, really, which is a shame because that would have made it even more enjoyable. Cool as Ice is mainly just weird and, of course, stars Vanilla Ice. What more do you really need?

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