Cool as Ice: A 20 Year Review
Vanilla Ice is a rad rocket riding rapper. He dresses like Two Face while he and his homies are (I guess) touring the country, presumably dropping phat beats and mad science. The movie opens with him and Naomi Campbell, future bane-to-personal-assistants, doing a show in a typical 1990’s nightclub replete with indoor chain-link fencing. He gets hit on by A Groupie. The next morning, Vanilla Ice almost kills a young girl by spooking the horse she is riding.
This girl is, of course, the Love Interest.
Later, one of the crew’s motorcycle fails in the middle of the street. They then. . . well. I’m not entirely sure what happened next. But suddenly everyone is hanging out at one of the most surreal looking houses I’ve ever seen, which just happens to be located next door to the Love Interest’s house.
Alex Keaton’s The Love Interest’s dad is in witness protection. He is, of course, a good guy, but he is distrustful of Vanilla Ice (who had previously beat the shit out of the Love Interest’s douchebag boyfriend, Superboy). There’s some sort of plot involving this and a kidnapping but seriously why the fuck do you care?
THE MOVIE HAS VANILLA FUCKING ICE IN IT, MOTHERFUCKERS.
Frankly, this movie is so surreal and patently bad in nearly every way that it should become a “four food groups” style staple of “so bad they’re good” movies. A sample of dialog:
Vanilla Ice: “What’s it like?”
Love Interest: “What’s what like?”
Vanilla Ice: “You know. Havin’. . . parents and stuff?”
Here’s the really fucked up bit: the movie has some of the absolute best cinematography I’ve seen in a long time. In fact, the shot framing is so good that it feels out of place.
Which, you know, makes sense. The cinematographer, Janusz Kamiński, would later win two Oscars: one for Schindler’s List and one for Saving Private Ryan. He’s been Senior Spielbergo’s go-to guy since 1993 and has done every one of his films since then.
Things to watch for:
Nearly all of the cars shown in the film are painted white. Supposedly this is because Vanilla Ice expressed an opinion (“I like white cars”) but I like to think there was an artistic statement here.
The mafioso spitting out his food. For no reason. While he’s sitting on the hood of his (black-colored) car. In front of the house of the guy he’s there to kill. What the fuck?;
The not one but two utterly terrible covers of “Thank You Fa Lettin’ Me Be Mice Elf Agin“;
The “falling in love” montage where the principles teleport between a construction site, a desert, and horse ranch;
Vanilla Ice wearing his sunglasses while riding a motorcycle in the desert. At night.
The camera spin around the fishbowl as Mr. Keaton tells his daughter that he’s in witness protection (it’s a fucking excellent visual).
The credits end with “—-> b kool stay in skool”.
Words of wisdom for us all.