Ski School 2
Ski school 2 is actually a really different movie than the first one. This is weird, because it’s still written by the same guy, and while 1994 is just past the era the first film was made in… It’s close enough that I really expected something similar.
We open with a burn out maintenance man in a small cabana that looks a lot like a low rent frat room. He’s posting a wedding invitation to Dave… The hero from the last film, about his ex girlfriends impending nuptials. Dave receives it at his home… An abandoned school bus which he proceeds to drive back up the mountain to try and stop the wedding and win her back. Or, well stop the wedding mostly. Because he doesn’t have any plan on how to get her back….
Dean Cameron is the only person other than the writer to return for ski school 2. This is perhaps the first big red flag. I was kind of looking forward to it though, because it’s also the first film role for Will Sasso. It’s early days for Sasso, just ahead of his time on MADtv, and he’s still a little rough… Chewing the scenery more than usual.
Cameron on the other hand… Cameron is funny as ever, but he’s trying to show his age. He would’ve been around 27 when ski school came out, and could still pass for 23. But his hairline was starting to recede a little more aggressively than the long floppy hairstyle can hide, so it’s been cut short, and his skin has kind of started to harden. He looks every bit his age of 32… In fact, he looks closer to 35 in this. And see, that’s the problem. Being a goofy broke loser slacker in your 20s is funny. It’s fun. These are party days and you’re still finding yourself. But being that same sort of character in your 30s… It comes off as a little pathetic. Cameron‘s timing is still dead on, but he’s too old for the charm to really work without a bigger storyline. If we were to go back to summer school, Mark Harmon plays a similar sort of goofy slacker… But he’s got an arc there. The entire movie is really about him growing up without losing his sense of humor. Taking on some real responsibilities in his own lazy surfer dude way. But Cameron doesn’t have an arc here. He’s just there to bust up the wedding. And that’s kind of a problem. There’s a few fun antics here, and I think there’s enough Time spent with the main characters for you to be invested in them as familiar faces, but I don’t know if it’s enough for me to really root for them.
Also keenly felt is the absence of a good foil for Cameron. Having Fitz as the best friend to bounce humor off of in the first movie really enhances Cameron‘s performance. It sells the jokes and makes everything work. It also in many ways tries to turn that original one into an example piece. This one has the trappings of an ensemble, but it’s absolutely Cameron‘s movie. It’s star driven and he is the star… And he is just not… sympathetic.
One of the things that really strikes me about this film, is it lives up to its name. We get a lot more ski action this time around. It’s pervasive in the movie and drives a lot of the action. It’s our reason to be. It’s also the only time that Cameron really manages to make any sort of meaningful connection with the ex girlfriend. It’s not when he’s crashing the wedding party with an impromptu chicken dance, it’s not when he’s sabotaging the bachelor party or showing up as a stripper at the bachelorette party. The times he really connects with her is when they’re skiing and he’s coaxing her to go back to basics. This is good stuff, and we needed more of it. We needed more of Cameron‘s devotion to the forum, his lover skiing, his skill and his training abilities. It’s so weird. For a series that is supposedly all about this renegade ski instructor, we really don’t see much about skiing in his life.
I have a hard time recommending this, even if you were a fan of the original. I happen to be a big fan of Dean Cameron, particularly in his prime, but this is not it. I can almost see the down slope of his career starting right here, and it makes me more sad than anything else. Stick with the original, and of course, summer school.
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