‘Cool as Ice’ Review: Your Ad Here

Posted in Screening Room by - November 09, 2014

Yeah Vanilla Ice, we get it, you were the shit in the 90s. That smug look on your face, your sweet head shave, we get it. I actually don’t dislike Vanilla Ice, I’d love to meet the guy and ask him about what motivated him to become a white rapper back when being white and rapping was not a “thing”. That being said, Cool as Ice is more of a music video with some plot forcibly shoved in than an actual full blown film. It was clearly a move to sell more of Mr. Ice’s music than it was to actually make a good film.

My problem with the film isn’t actually Vanilla Ice; he’s a lovable goof and I could actually imagine him having a career in comedic films. My problem is with the plot of the movie which is negligible at best. I have never seen a film like Cool As Ice that shills a product harder than actually tries to make a coherent film. Vanilla Ice plays Johnny Van Owen, an obvious play off his real name Robert Van Winkle, a white rapper who seems to tour around from gig to gig with his band of merry men. His is a white rap Robin Hood who deals in sick beats rather than in stolen money. Also, he knows how to rock a fanny pack like a boss.

As the plot would have it, one of Ice’s friends bikes break down and they have to stop in a small California town to get his bike fixed by two lunatics. These two live in a house that more closely resembles a Detroit Children’s Museum than a normal house. There are comically large salt shakers, walls that are painted disparate colors, and a creepy molester vibe. Along with the house, the two people who opt to help Ice’s crew with their bikes seem to be either mentally retarded or not from this earth. With that in mind though, Ice and his crew get stranded in this town for some time so that the bike can be fixed, which leads to Ice meeting Kathy. 

Kathy is a straight A student who has a dick boyfriend, totally not a played out movie trope, that doesn’t appreciate her and wants her to change her life for him. She meets Ice and falls for him immediately, even if he accidentally tries to kill her by spooking her horse with his motorcycle. 

Along with their fledging relationship, there is a subplot about Kathy’s family being in the witness protection agency and the people they’re running from finding them. It goes only serves to justify why Kathy’s parents don’t want her to hang around with Mr. Ice since they believe him to be with crooked cops. It’s a strange jump in logic that serves merely as a way to drive the plot since no one would actually believe a goofball like Ice would be involved with crooked cops. Needless to say, the crooked cops play a large part in the climax of the film that just goes to show it was more about the music than actually telling a story.

I don’t think Vanilla Ice is a bad musician, “Ice Ice Baby” is a 90s classic that has transcended music and become a part of the pop culture lexicon. However, the notion that making Vanilla Ice the lead in a Hollywood film was misguided and downright wrong. I get that his music was extremely popular but putting him in his own feature film was a total cash grab. The best/worst part of the film is when Kathy and Ice finally go on a date together and it consists of them running around mugging for the camera in an half built house. 

It’s strange scene that sums up the film perfectly; a film devoid of content but heavy on music. However, even though I didn’t like the film, I have to say that I’m a fan of Vanilla Ice. Yeah, I said it, I don’t care. He seems to be a total goof who doesn’t take himself too seriously and I can respect that. 

Cool as Ice is an advertisement moonlighting as a film. It serves no purpose other than to try and move more Vanilla Ice CDs. There is little plot and the dialogue is hilariously bad yet I find Vanilla Ice to be the best part of the film. He’s great because he doesn’t take himself too seriously which is important with a film like this. If you want to see what acting chops Vanilla Ice has check out Cool as Ice, otherwise ditch this zero. 

Final Say: Watch It If Only For The 90s Cheesiness


This post was written by
Chris Stachiw is the Editor-in-Chief and co-host of the Kulturecast. He's a native Californian with a penchant for sarcasm and a taste for the cinematic bizarre. You'll often find him wandering the wasteland of Nebraska searching for the meaning of life and possibly another rare Pokemon.
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