The Cutting Edge: Going For The Gold

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Distributed By: Sony Pictures

Reviewed by Justine Manzano 

     There is a reason why sometimes movie sequels aren't released to the general public.  Sometimes some of the one's that get through shouldn't be released either, but that's another article.  The truth is, if you can't do a sequel to a great movie right, you shouldn't do one at all.  This is why The Cutting Edge: Going For The Gold fell ridiculously flat. 

     It was only a couple of  weeks ago when I proclaimed my love for the original The Cutting Edge, an amazing movie about two young Olympic hopefuls Douglas Dorsey (D.B. Sweeney, Memphis Belle, Spawn), a hockey player with an injury that knocks him out of competition, and Kate Moseley (Moira Kelly, One Tree Hill) a pairs figure skating champion without a partner, pair up.  They train hard and despite Kate’s sharp attitude and Doug's sometimes brutish way of dealing  with her, they fall in love.  We never see if they win the gold--that's not the point.  The point was the road to the gold.  One of the most amazing things about this movie was the chemistry of the characters.  This is why a sequel that is made 13 years later and features a daughter that is amazingly over 21, created by people who didn't have anything to do with the original just can't gain the emotion of the original.  It was clear from the minute that they flaunted Kate and Doug's gold medal win that they just didn't get it and they continued to prove this throughout the movie. 

     13 years later, Kate Moseley (Stepfanie Kramer, Hunter) and Douglas Dorsey (Scott Thompson Baker, General Hospital, All My Children) now own their own practice rink where they've spent years training their daughter, Jackie Dorsey (Christy Carlson Romano, Kim Possible, Even Stevens), a serious competitor in singles figure skating and a hopeful for the Olympic Team.  Then, in competition, Jackie breaks her leg.  When she heals, she still can't make triple jumps and it becomes a sad reality that she will have to begin skating pairs where the focus is not placed as heavily on the jumps.  Distressed, the dull shadows that were once the characters from the first movie, send her off to LA, convinced that a little vacation will do her good.  In LA, Jackie meets Alex (Ross Thomas), an extreme sports phenomenon on inline skates, with a lack of responsibility.  The two immediately fall in love, but he's poor and quickly becomes jealous of her.  They fight and Jackie leaves LA in search of a pairs partner, only to find that Alex , who has decided to train, has learned how to figure skate, and worse, has decided to be her partner.  Throw in a fiancee for Alex and the clash between her "need-to-win" attitude and his "beach hum" attitude and you've got a steaming pile of crap that's trying to mold itself into the shape of it's predecessor. 

     At some points, this sequel vaguely channels the original.  Scott Thompson Baker has a "D.B. as Doug" moment when he angrily wrestles a hung-over Alex into the shower, pissed that he's about to ruin Jackie's dream.  Naturally, this high point is short-lived since, while cool, what Doug is really doing is encouraging this man to take his daughter's life into his hands when he's barely able to stand.  Then, there's the fact of the impossible move they must do at the end to win--it was silly in the first movie, but in this one, they don't even train for it, which makes it that much worse. 

     The worse parts have to be the fact that the lighting, cinematography and choreography did nothing to makes even the skating scenes exciting and the fact that Kate and Doug were barely given any personality at all, let alone those they had once inhabited.  News Flash to the writers of future sequels of ANYTHING: we follow a movie to it's sequel because we love the characters we watched in the first one, not because of the children they might have, or because of some kind of half-baked new character you've invented.  Write the old characters as we remember them and we'll enjoy it.

     Now the only redeeming thing about this movie had to be Christy Carlson Romano, who played Jackie with great emotion, while somehow managing to channel both the original Kate Moseley and Douglas Dorsey in the process.  She and the rest of the characters may have been living in a world where costume changes were only necessary every half hour of the movie no matter how many days had passed, where you can learn to figure skate in a day and fall in love even faster, but Romano handled it all with grace and realism  If  anything  is to come out of whatever this was, I hope that it is Romano’s shining star. Keep your eyes peeled. 

Related Links: The Cutting Edge

Ice Princess

The Remake-Prequel-Sequel Syndrome

The Well-Aged Sequel

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