MGM // 2008 // 92 Minutes // Rated PG-13
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // March 31st, 2008
"I didn't come all this way to punk out." -- Alexandra Delgado
So apparently The Cutting Edge is a film franchise now. I don't know how they'll keep this up though; there are only so many permutations can you make on the exact same formula.
Meet Zack Conroy (Matt Lanter), hotshot professional figure skater, wealthy playboy, womanizer extraordinaire and, now, partner-free after he drops his former girlfriend and skating counterpart on her face, leading to a debilitating injury that knocks her out of championship contention.
So where do you go to find a spunky female skater on short notice? An ice rink! That's where Zack meets Alexandra Delgado (Francia Raisa) a feisty hockey player who has the skills and the tenacity to keep up with Zack. She's reluctant at first, but lucky for Zack her overly competitive attitude and her secret desire to be a famous figure skater overtakes her cold, smart-ass exterior and she joins up.
But that's just the start of what will be an immensely grueling and challenging process, a journey that will feature multiple training montages, sexy misunderstandings, jackass skating rivals and a super-secret-unbelievably-awesome-and-simultaneously dangerous move that may or may not land them the coveted gold medal.
I'll tell you what The Cutting Edge -- Chasing the Dream is not on the cutting edge of -- The Cutting Edge movies.
What unfolds in this third, non-sequel installment is exactly the same story beats you've seen in the previous two, which were of course pioneered by the original film. You'd think that the skating-savvy announcers that always play such a pivotal expository role in these films would realize that these events have transpired before.
ANNOUNCER 1: Well, let's recap, Janet, for the viewers who may be just joining us. We've got a professional skater who was in need of a partner. And believe it or not the oddest choice of a partner laced up the skates -- a former hockey player! Even crazier, it's a former hockey player with an attitude. So this odd couple joins together and, with just a few short months before their first exhibition, they train really hard and when it is time for their first show, it doesn't go terribly well but thanks to some good fortune they still manage to qualify for the championships, which is where we are now. Of course the big story is the fallout they've just had, over sexual indiscretions and a handful of miscommunications and now we're wondering if they'll be able to reconcile in time for their routine and perhaps silence their rival skaters and, maybe -- just maybe, bust out an amazing finishing move that is life-threatening, but spectacular! Janet?
ANNOUNCER 2: Thanks Jim. One question -- how come this @#$% sounds so familiar?
Kids, this formula has been thoroughly flogged. In Chasing the Dream the pieces have been shuffled but the game board is exactly the same. Instead of the woman being the snobby skating pro, it's the guy and the girl here is the talented, smarmy jock. You know the rest of the drill: tough, but committed coach, sexual tension you could slice with a toe-pick, miracle comebacks, a big sloppy wet one before the credits roll, etc. Chasing the Dream mixes it up a bit with some mild class warfare (Zack's loaded, Alex's family of immigrants runs a restaurant) and the soap opera elements are considerably more pronounced (the aforementioned bad skaters interrupt a press conference to unveil some provocative and incriminating photos of Zack getting cozy with an ex-lover), but those are about all the variables you can expect from this tired retread.
Nice enough disc, though. The 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen is solid throughout and the 5.1 Digital mix clean. Extras include a twelve-minute making-of featurette and deleted scenes.
If you've never seen any other Cutting Edge movie before, you might enjoy this one. But those familiar with the genre will likely be astounded by the déjà vu.
Guilty. Time to put this concept on ice.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 92 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13
* Deleted Scenes
* DVD Verdict Review - Cutting Edge
* DVD Verdict Review - Cutting Edge 2