From robo-heavyweights to angry ice-skaters, sports movies occupy a peculiar and often frankly unwatchable place in the annals of Hollywood history.
Amid global lockdown, the PA news agency runs a daily rule over some of the films that might provide that much-needed sporting fix – and those that absolutely shouldn’t.
Based loosely on the true story of the Jamaican bobsleigh team’s exploits at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, ‘Cool Runnings’ offers a comedic interpretation of the team’s rise from aborted track careers and their wholly improbable pursuit of representing Jamaica at a Winter Games for the first time. It’s the kind of tale that even Hollywood would probably have passed over as too outlandish but for one simple fact: for the most part, it actually happened.
John Candy is excellent as Irv Blitzer, a brilliant but disgraced former Olympic bobsleigh coach whom the team must coax out of retirement in order to facilitate their plans. Blitzer, it must be said, is a wholly fictional character. Peter Outerbridge also stars as the wonderfully stereotypical Josef Grull, the ice-cold East German team leader who mocks the Jamaican team’s ambitions. Cuba Gooding Jnr. was originally slated for a role as one of the four bobsledders but they eventually went to Leon Robinson, Doug E. Doug, Rawle D. Lewis and Malik Yoba.