Sub Par Cliffhanger
Following the death of a fellow climber, whilst on a rescue mission, John Deckert (Costas Mandylor - Just Desserts) has moved on to a new career as a cop. But he finds himself requested by the US Government to put a climbing team together for an urgent mission. The mission is to climb K2 and retrieve a Russian Military device, which has ended up some where near the top when terrorists who had stolen it were shot out of the sky. But it's not all straight forwards as time is ticking down and unless they deactivate this device before the clock hits zero it is going to trigger mass destruction as it controls military satellites.
If you thought that "Cliffhanger" was a cheesy climbing movie you've never seen "Sub Zero" because this is a movie, in fairness a direct to video movie, which takes cheese to a whole new level. And I mentioned "Cliffhanger" for a reason because "Sub Zero" is inspired by, or at least copies, various elements from a similar opening scene to using plenty of similar dialogue, drenched in more macho guff than a teenager wearing Lynx deoderant. Although in fairness "Sub Zero" does have a different story when it comes to why we are up a mountain, although a Russian device which can trigger mass destruction is some thing more at home in an 80s James Bond movie.
If the storyline to "Sub Zero" wasn't bad enough I am sad to say the direction is no better as Jim Wynorski fails to deliver anything close to excitement. It doesn't help that for most of the movie there is very little climbing action and what climbing there is, which shows up towards the end, is not tha great. Even an attempt to create mystery surrounding two Russian scientists and one of the climbers dying before they even start fails to add anything close to drama, excitement or tension. But worst of all is that with the clock ticking down it never once feels like things are getting more desperate.
Now there is a chance that if you watch "Sub Zero" it is because you spotted that it stars Costas Mandylor, he of the "Saw" movies fame, because whilst the rest of the cast have been in a variety of TV shows and movies it is Mandylor who is the most recognizable. Recognizable doesn't mean it's actually a good performance as Mandylor along with the rest of the cast deliver over the top performances which are for the most forgettable. Of course they are not helped by the fact that every character is a cliche from the smoking hot adrenalin junkie Kelli Paris through to sexy Russian Sasha Mirov. And with all the corny dialogue that they get it often becomes painful to watch.
What this all boils down to is that "Sub Zero" is a bad movie and is not even so bad that it becomes entertaining. Other than the stunning snowy mountains of British Columbia there is nothing positive to say but a whole lot of negatives from being more than cheesy through to making "Cliffhanger" feel like Oscar material.