Tag Archives: mercenary

Well we thought it could not get much worse but we were wrong: The Chill Factor (1999)

The Chill Factor had a budget of $34,000,000—the question I want answered is where the other $33,500,000 went because it certainly didn’t go into the script.  Cuba Gooding Jr. (of Jerry Maguire fame) manages to soil what was left of his acting reputation as well as illustrates a complete inability to pick the right movies to enhance his career—that or his agent is totally brain dead.  In fact I recently came across an article looking at Gooding’s downward spiral since winning an Oscar stating:

“Perhaps it is as simple as the Oscar curse. Before his fervent acceptance speech at the 1996 Academy Awards, Cuba Gooding Jr. was an A-lister on the rise; after that, it all seemed to go downhill.  Cuba Gooding Jr.’s career choices, to put it mildly, became erratic.  Could behind-the-scenes management kerfuffles also have been to blame?  Should Gooding not have chosen, as Tropic Thunder‘s Kirk Lazarus might say, to “go full retard” in Radio?  And who will answer for the abomination that was Boat Trip?  (And Snow Dogs?  And Chill Factor?  The list goes on…)”

The “Plot” of this Hollywood red headed step child is exceeding cliché.  The Army develops a horrifically dangerous chemical weapon that detonates if it temperature rises above fifty degrees and is nicknamed “Elvis.”  The film sounds like it is the cousin of that odious movie Speed (Sandra Bullock) except contending with heat and not velocity.  Of course the experiment goes wrong on an island killing a squadron of soldiers and their commanding officer is held responsible to the tune of ten years in Leavenworth.  During the commanding officer’s tenure in prison, he plots his revenge to steal this deadly weapon of mass destruction and sell it to the highest bidder.  Actually I don’t think I need to continue because you already know what happens, the mercenaries chase the two fish out of water and the chemical weapon is neutralized at the end with the bad guys dying a graphic and gruesome death.

Dr. H thinks that this movie would appeal to people who believe that Brittany Spears is the creative genius of our generation and that G.W. Bush is an intellectual force to be reckoned with.  I agree.  The main difference between The Chill Factor and Chain Reaction is that Chain Reaction at least had a decent cast while the Chill Factor has nothing. 

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Posted by on July 7, 2011 in Movie Reviews


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Our First “B” Movie Review: The Substitute II-Schools Out.

The first Substitute movie starred Tom Berenger as a mercenary who went undercover as a schoolteacher to find his fiancées tormentors.  While this movie in and of itself qualifies as one of our “B” flicks it is not the one we are taking a look at today.

I must confess The Substitute 2-4 are some of my favorite “B” movies of all time.  In fact one could even call them “C” movies if you so desired.  The Substitutes 2 to 4 all star Treat Williams as, you guessed it, a mercenary who for one reason or another has to go undercover as a teacher in order to right some wrong.  Williams, before the Substitute sequels, had the lead role in Prince of the City (1981), a film many consider to be on par with Raging Bull, Serpico and Taxi Driver.  I guess that was the 1980’s, because in the 1990’s I think all of the Substitute sequels went straight to video and with good reason.

In The Substitute II-Schools Out, mercenary Karl Thomason (Treat Williams) arrives in Brooklyn to attend the funeral of his brother Randall, who was murdered while trying to stop a carjacking blamed on the “Brotherhood,” a vicious street gang.  Thomason believes there is something more than a mere carjacking gone wrong and decides to go undercover as his brother’s replacement in a Brooklyn high school where his brother taught history i.e. The Substitute.

The B-movie really comes through in this film.  The blood is decidedly exaggerated as it looks like the special FX men used ketchup packets when someone was shot.  There is (of course) the token sex scene and the “Substitute” is well versed in combat as a mercenary decidedly does not decimate his opponents right away, instead he routinely has these modest encounters beating them down a notch every time.  Without question this movie is so flawed it would make me crazy, but for some unknown reason I can watch and enjoy all of the Substitute sequels (which get worse as they progress).  I guess we all have our soft spots for “B” or even “C” movies—what are you going to do?  You just may get a laugh or two.


Posted by on August 14, 2010 in Movie Reviews


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