A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
There really was a Jamaican bobsled team. And if the movie "Cool Runnings" can be trusted, the Jamaicans practiced on a bobsled with wheels, in the absence of any snow in their native land. Then they went to the winter Olympics, where the crowds cheered their pluck, if not their speed.
The problem with a story like this is that it's almost too perfect. It tends to break out of the boundaries of the typical sports movie, and undermine those easy cliches that are so reassuring to sports fans. The Olympics have fostered a cult of excellence in which athletes become superhuman, and victories are measured in a tenth of a second. If a bunch of guys can get there by practicing in a bobsled with wheels, nothing is sacred.
"Cool Runnings" could have been a subversive movie, then - undermining the carefully-controlled imagery of the Olympics, which are only marginally less a retail business than, say, the Chicago Bulls. But the movie has no such ambition. Although the Jamacian bobsled team broke all the rules, the movie is content to follow them - to reprocess the story into the same formula as countless sports movies before it.
The recipe for such movies is set in stone. Write one yourself; you might get lucky. We begin with underdogs, coached by a loser with a scandal in his past and a lot to prove. We linger for a scene or two over the personalities on the team. We show practice sessions in which the team is absolutely without talent. We show despair. Then, just when things look their bleakest, the guys decide not to give up, and somehow they start to get better.