Chill Factor

Bomb Rating: 

The best thing about "Chill Factor" is that it's over fast. What else can you say about an action film in which characters sit inside trucks with their windows rolled up, wearing leather jackets, complaining about how hot it is? What else can you say about a film where one 40-ish character says about another, "We served two tours in Vietnam together." Excuse me, but that means you were in the neighborhood of ten years old during the war. Perhaps you were fighting for the Vietcong?

The film is sort of like "Speed" for chemistry nerds. Dr. Richard Long (David Paymer) has invented a substance that, when it gets over 50 degrees, explodes like a nuclear bomb. An accident with the substance resulted in Major Andrew Brynner's (Peter Firth) imprisonment. Ten years later, Brynner is released and hunts down Long's substance so he can sell it to terrorists, or possibly Taco Bell. Before he gets his hands on it, though, Dr. Long convinces Tim Mason (Skeet Ulrich) to transport the substance to Ft. Magruder in an ice cream truck belonging to Arlo (Cuba Gooding, Jr.).

Cuba Gooding, Jr. acts so frenetic that one worries he might have monkeys swinging from the hairs of his testicles. It's either that, or a really bad cocaine habit. You'd probably never guess this in a million years, but Arlo and Mason don't get along. Thus they spend a good deal of time arguing about which direction to go and whether or not Pepsi One tastes like real Pepsi.

They also spend an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out how to keep the exploding substance cold. Thank God they have a giant thermometer with them. Why they don't just hand over the stuff to Brynner and walk away is anybody's guess. Even more frustrating is that they don't just bop by a Wal-Mart, buy a freaking Igloo cooler and some freaking ice, and drop a dime to the Army base to have armed soldiers pick them up in copters. I'm willing to bet that you could elude machine-gun-toting bad guys in a Wal-Mart for hours simply by hiding behind all the fat people in sweat pants.

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