The Cutting Edge 2: Going for the Gold (2006) — Can’t even land bronze

“To win, you have to be willing to fail.”

Sue’s rating: He was a skater boy. She said see you later boy. He wasn’t good enough for her…

Sue’s review: I really liked The Cutting Edge. I mean, Oscar material? No. Cute ‘n fluffy entertainment goodness with a side order of sarcasm? Yes. Definitely a worthwhile excuse to make the popcorn and disengage the brain for a while. Hey, a movie doesn’t have to be Schindler’s List (or, for some of us, A Nightmare on Elm Street, or for Shalen, IMAX Presents: When Spiders Attack!) to be good.

Under the circumstances, I figured there couldn’t be any harm in renting The Cutting Edge 2: Going For The Gold.

Only the waste of a few hours of my life that I can’t ever get back. That’s all.

I would like to state for the record that even though I really liked the original, I didn’t have unfairly high expectations for its sequel. Hey, it’s hard to recreate brilliance, no matter how good the source material is. Even Secretariat was a bit of a disappointment as a sire. And as I’ve said, The Cutting Edge wasn’t ever in the Secretariat class. (More of a Giacomo actually.)

In a nutshell, Kate and Doug Dorsey, the original TCE couple have a daughter named Jackie. Jackie, who must take after Mom, because she’s yet another obsessively driven competitor, breaks her leg, loses her ability to land a triple jump and decides to try pairs skating as a simpler (yeah right) road to Olympic glory or whatever. But first she goes to the beach. Enter romantic-lead-with-attitude and away we go.

Yeah. Hmm.

Let me put it this way. In the first twenty minutes, I’d renamed the main characters, Jackie and Alex, “Figure Skating Diva Barbie” and “Plastic Smile Sk8er Boi Ken”. No matter how hard they might have tried (not very), they never quite overcame that. Another oddity was that, even though the story did get marginally more interesting as it progressed, there seemed to be some pretty large swaths of “This movie is never going to be long enough unless we kill some time. Bring out the chicks in the bikinis and that shirtless guy again.” Honestly, if I just want to look at eye candy, I could have saved the cost of the rental and spent a few minutes staring at the Orlando Bloom poster on my daughter’s bedroom wall. He stares back. It’s a little creepy really.

Orlando aside, I have to say that TCE2GFTG (now there’s a massive acronym!) had one other not-so-great trend in common with its predecessor. That would be an almost intolerable willingness to ignore facts. I can get past the inaccuracies of the competitions because I’ve already vented about them in my TCE review, but two things come to mind that bother me a lot about this ‘un:

1. No matter how good an athlete you are, or how many seven-year-old coaches you have, you can’t learn to figure skate at a national championship level in a matter of a few weeks. Or months. Or even years. You hear me Plastic Smile Sk8er Boi Ken? Huh?

2. I don’t agree with giving kids growth hormones or performance enhancing drugs. Now before the three or four people who loved this movie get out their crayons and start scribbling me hate mail, let’s look at the facts. (Not that the writers or director did.) The original Cutting Edge duo, Kate and Doug, competed in the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, France. It’s probably reasonable to assume that Kate wasn’t pregnant at that point. (If for no other reason than that pregnancy messes up your balance. A lot. I know.) Yet their daughter Jackie is gunning for the 2006 Olympics in Torino, Italy. Realistically, this makes her 14 years old. Max. Considering Jackie’s swearin’, drinkin’ and apparent first hand knowledge of things involving the birds and the bees, what other conclusion can anyone come up with? If this kid is 14, I’m calling Social Services. There oughta be a law!

I guess if you can get past the silly errors, TCE2GFTG might be okay, but given my druthers, I’d rather re-watch the original a few hundred times than slog through its heir not-so apparent again.

Didja notice?

  • Neither Moira Kelly nor D.B. Sweeney appear in this film. Doug is played by Scott Thompson Baker, while Kate is played by Stepfanie Kramer, despite Kramer being 12 years older than Kelly.
  • Oksana Baiul plays herself as a television commentator in the opening scene of the movie.
  • Okay, yeah, Ross Thomas is hot. I’m not blind, you know.
  • Mrs. Dorsey has aged quite well. Mr. Dorsey, not so much.
  • Pinata Boy!
  • Do not assume that male figure skaters are wusses. Especially in a bar. Especially after they’ve had a few drinks.
  • Power Puking: 8.5, 9.0, 9.0, 8.5, 9.5 and 10 from the French Judge!
  • Kate makes the statement that no pairs do side by side triples in competition, citing them as “Too dangerous!” However, in 2006, all top level pairs teams would have had to include at least one side by side triple jump if they wanted to score well. In fact, side by side triple jumps have been routine in the upper levels of competition since the early 1990’s.

One comment

  1. There’s also the issue of how the International Skating Union had mandated a minimum age requirement of fifteen for senior level competitions starting with the 1996-1997 season.

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