A review of “Extreme Ops” by Jeanne Aufmuth


Stars: *

Rating: PG-13 for violence, mild language, nudity

Run Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes



My guess is that the folks behind “Extreme Ops” figured they would go for broke by opening this lightweight, teen-targeted pabulum smack up against a holiday weekend.  When you’re offering up pond scum, you’ve got nothing to lose.

Where to begin?  Adolescent fans of the X-Games may thrill to the sight of extreme white-water rafting or treacherous snowboarding moves, but I prefer a story, a decent script (delivered in language I can understand), and something akin to acting.

Classic English novel adaptation veterans Rufus Sewell (“Carrington”) and Rupert Graves (“Mrs. Dalloway”) are sorely miscast as Ian and Jeffrey, director and producer of extreme TV commercials featuring daredevil stunts that defy practical application.  A particularly perilous photo shoot takes them to the Austrian Alps, along with a gold-medal skier (Bridget Wilson-Sampras) and a gaggle of out-of-control shredders. 

The bare outline of a plot revolves around a bloodthirsty war criminal/terrorist who’s conveniently holed up in the very same mountain digs as our audacious athletes. When one of the gang mistakenly catches said bad boy on video, it’s bye-bye skiers. Can this impudent posse of post-pubescent competitors survive a mano-a-mano attack with a homicidal maniac?  Do you care?

Poor editing, bad bluescreen, and ultra-cheesy dialogue (“my ultimate fantasy is sex with a newscaster” reports one of the dudes after confessing to a penchant for uptight women) highlight the radical action. Worst of show is that outdoor adventure classic – outrunning an avalanche on skis (where the quintessential boulder appears in the nick of time).  Pretty, ice-capped vistas don’t come close to making up for eighty-five minutes of moviegoing misery.