Urban Cinefile
"All sighted people naturally assume that blind people have a lesser experience and need sight to be happy. But that's not necessarily so - "  -Dr Oliver Sacks, writer of At First Sight
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Saturday February 1, 2020 

Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE



As a band of soldiers and scientists carry out the last secret tests on a deadly new chemical weapon, they learn that the chemical - little globs of blue goo - must stay cooler than 50 degrees Fahrenheit or KABOOM! Oh no - too late! Their testing-ground is obliterated in seconds, leaving just two men - militantly deranged Major Brynner (Peter Firth) and nerdy scientist Dr Long (David Paymer) - to take the fall. Brynner is blamed and sentenced to 10 years, after which he proceeds to seek revenge on Dr Long and steal the weapon to sell to international bidders. But Long manages to pass the goo to his heroic friend Mason (Skeet Ulrich), a backwoods burger-flipper, who convinces Arlo (Cuba Gooding Jr), a disgruntled ice-cream delivery man, to help him drive the goo across Montana (keeping it under 50 degrees) and save the day.

"Chill Factor is the type of strictly formulaic buddy-action-comedy that should have slipped through the cracks and gone to straight-to-video hell. The best action scene is a canoe ride down a cliff-face, and best laugh comes - for those who pick it up - with the scientist's name: Dr Richard Long. Not much more (good) can be said for Chill Factor. Think of Speed's "keep it under 50" meets the squabbling partners of 48 Hours meets a long episode of Walker, Texas Ranger. . . Expect standard explosions, car chases, colourful deaths, crappy one-liners, fly-fishing, and lots of spoiled ice-cream. Yes, Chill Factor is a dish best left out in the cold. More interesting is that fact that it's another of these "weapons-of-mass-destruction-on-the-run" flicks. Chain Reaction is its best comparison, but give me Gooding and Ulrich over Keanu Reeves any day. Head and shoulders above the rest is The Rock - a slick, blistering action thriller starring a former 007-ish Sean Connery and a goofy Nicolas Cage at their enigmatic best. Now I'm a big fan of Cuba Gooding Jr, but what the hell was he thinking about when he signed up for Chill Factor? He was the new kid on the block in Boyz'n'the Hood, an Oscar winner in Jerry Maguire, and a gay art dealer who actually scared Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets. But he's since gone AWOL with Instinct and What Dreams May Come. It leads one to suspect his poor choices were induced by: a) Money b) A bad agent, or c) Studio contracts. Either way, Gooding should have known better. In fact both he and Ulrich (who's a better arty type than an action-adventure type) should take Chill Factor as a cold lesson in making better choices of their projects."
Shannon J. Harvey

Email this article

Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0



CAST: Cuba Gooding Jnr, Skeet Ulrich, Peter Firth, David Paymer, Hudson Leick

DIRECTOR: Hugh Johnson

PRODUCER: James G. Robinson

SCRIPT: Drew Gitlin, Mike Cheda


EDITOR: Pamela Power

MUSIC: John Powell, Hans Zimmer


RUNNING TIME: 101 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: February 10, 2000

VIDEO RELEASE: Sept 19, 2000

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Entertainment

Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2020