Slap Shot 2: Breaking the Ice (2002) starring Stephen Baldwin, Jessica Steen, Gary Busey, David Hemmings, David Paetkau, Jonathan Scarfe, Steve Carlson, David Hanson, Jeff Carlson directed by Steve Boyum Movie Review

Slap Shot 2: Breaking the Ice (2002)   2/52/52/52/52/5

David Hanson, Steve Carlson, Jeff Carlson and Stephen Baldwin in Slap Shot 2

The Ice Hockey Globetrotters

I reckon someone came up with an intriguing idea for an Ice Hockey movie, that of a down on their luck team being conned into being the fall guys for an All Star team, basically as the movie puts it a Harlem Globetrotter set up but on ice. Then as they wrote it they realised that whilst the basic idea may have been good the meat on the bones was just cliche sports stuff as the teams coach basically sells his soul for money only to realise what is important at the last minute. And so to try and gain more interest they decided to package it as a sequel to the popular "Slap Shot" and brought back the Hanson brothers and the team name to try and link it. It doesn't work because not only does the storyline end up both weak and ordinary it struggles to work as a sequel.

With the Chiefs still a bunch of Ice Hockey brawlers with the popular Hanson Brothers still plying their trade in the minor league coach Sean Linden (Stephen Baldwin - Threesome) finds that not only have they been sold to media mogul Richmond Claremont (Gary Busey) but alongside being relocated to Nebraska he is being replaced as coach by a woman Jessie Dage (Jessica Steen - Armageddon). But worst of all they are expected to act as the fall guys for a new form of hockey entertainment with a Harlem Globetrotter style Ice Hockey team making fools of them on TV every week.

Jessica Steen, David Hanson, Steve Carlson and Jeff Carlson in Slap Shot 2

So I actually really like the basic idea to "Slap Shot 2" that of media tycoon Richmond Claremont basically delivering family friendly entertainment with a Harlem Globetrotter style Ice Hockey team who always beat the saps they play. And at times the exploration of this idea works, from Claremont seeing it purely as a money making machine rather than anything else to a choreographer being hired to stage the games. Even the various wholesome names of the players in the Ice Breakers team are amusing.

But then despite having the nice idea it is wasted by turning "Slap Shot 2" into a very generic sports movie. As such the storyline focuses on Sean Linden who simply sells his soul for money, convincing his team mates to act the clown to line his own pocket but in typical fashion remembers why he played the game just in time so that the team can come good and give the Ice Breakers a lesson on ice. It's really quite dull and whilst "Slap Shot 2" is not a long movie, because pretty much everything about it is text book it drags on and on.

It wouldn't have been so bad if both the actual ice skating antics and comedy had been sharper but again it is all so dull and ordinary. And as for making it a sequel to "Slap Shot" by having the Hanson brothers still part of the team, well that is one of the worst plot devices going especially as the Hanson's are only in the movie for the start and end.

And like with the movie being dull so are the characters and acting with most of the characters making no presence at all. Of course there is Stephen Baldwin as Sean who I wonder whether his look of being cheesed off was him acting or just realising how poor "Slap Shot 2" was. But there is one sort of entertaining performance and that is Gary Busey as Richmond Claremont because we have the irony of a man who's built a fortune on clean, family entertainment yet swears, smokes big cigars and basically is more concerned about the bottom line. It could have been a better character but at least there is something evil about him.

What this all boils down to is that not only is "Slap Shot 2" a poor Ice Hockey movie but one which should never have been made as a sequel. It does have a nice idea but that idea is then wasted with such a generic sports storyline that all you get is the same sort of things you see in other sports movies and done in a slightly inferior manner.