Moore Not Less - Fire, Ice and Dynamite
Ice and Dynamite is a 1990 sequel to (the also little known) Fire and
Ice and was directed by Willy Bogner. Bogner, a former alpine ski
racer, captured some spectacular ski footage for the James Bond films
On Her Majesty's Secret Service, The Spy Who Loved Me, For Your Eyes
Only and A View to a Kill. Fire, Ice and Dynamite is a stunt filled
sports film - a German version of The Cannonball Run on snow if you
will, only with even less acting. Roger is roped into proceedings as a
vague linking device. This production occurred during that period when
Roger seemed to become semi-retired from acting and mostly made cameo
appearances or appeared in a few supporting roles (aside from a
television film called The Man Who Wouldn't Die). His focus was
increasingly more on charity work rather than acting. Just after this
film was released, Roger became a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
Rog barely acknowledged Fire, Ice and Dynamite in his autobiography -
apart for mentioning that his son Geoffrey was in it but decided acting
wasn't for him in the end. You can't really blame Geoffrey for wanting
to quit the acting lark after this experience. When your acting career
consists of films like Fire, Ice and Dynamite and you only got the part
because your dad was in the film it's probably time to go and do
something else! I've no idea if Fire, Ice and Dynamite got a theatrical
release outside of Germany and I've personally never encountered this
obscure film on television. The budget was $21 million (which an
inflation calculator informs me would be something like $40 million in
There isn't much
of a plot in Fire, Ice and Dynamite but it revolves around Roger as Sir
George Windsor, a super rich businessman entrepreneur who fakes his own
death and leaves instructions that his fortune will be left to the
winner of an extreme sports competition involving bobsledding etc.
Look, I said Fire, Ice and Dynamite had a bit of a plot but I didn't
say it made any sense. Sir George's creditors compete for the prize
along with his children - who he wants to win. Why not just give them
the money in the first place? Why am I searching for logic in this film?
the positive side, Fire, Ice and Dynamite is awash with stunts and
mayhem. There is some spectacular stuff and if you can get into the
spirit of the film (which is like a surreal one o'clock in the morning
'what on earth am I watching?' atmosphere) you might be able to glean
some pleasure. Interestingly, among the many stunts, there is a bungee
jump from a dam which was taken hook, line and sinker for the opening
of the 1995 Bond film GoldenEye. There is skiing galore as you'd expect
from Bogner. If you enjoy watching people fall off skis then you'll
have a blast.
But here is the
problem. Extreme sports footage can only take you so far. You don't
really want to watch it for the duration of a feature length film (at
one hour and forty minutes this film definitely feels a trifle on the
long side). And the stunt footage is raw and haphazard too. Don't
expect the polish and staging you get with Bognor's lavish ski capers
in a Bond film. At some point in Fire, Ice and Dynamite you unavoidably
find your attention starting to wane as the snow festooned stunt antics
spin on endlessly.
Fire, Ice and
Dynamite has some of the most gruesome and cynical product placement
you'll find in any film. Even Moonraker has nothing on this. The sports
competition is called the Megathon and every team seems to be sponsered
by a company. As a consequence, countless brands get blatant plugs
throughout the film. Pepsi, Swatch, that company (the name of which
escapes me) who make the bland European chocolate which comes in purple
wrappers. And boy does Fire, Ice and Dynamite take the time to remind
us of these companies. They practically all get an extended advert
within the film.
what of Roger? Roger is here (I would guess) simply as a favour to
Willy Bogner and to get a part for his son. Roger clearly has no clue
what this film is about and who can blame him for the confusion? Rog
essentially has a few framing bits as George Windsor, delivering
instructions for the competition but he does get to recreate his
Moonraker freefall stunt. A stuntman recreates his stunt but it's
supposed to be Sir George. By the way, the prize for the competition is
$135m. Seems a trifle on the small side doesn't it for someone who is
supposed to be a famed entrepreneur? One would think he'd be worth a
lot more than that. If Sir George Windsor took over a Premier League
football team he'd be penniless in a matter of days.
are some bizarre cameos in the film and like Sir Rog they genuinely
seem to have no idea what they are doing here. Buzz Aldrin, Jennifer Rush
(there's a cultural reference for the youngsters). The nadir of the
film comes when Connie de Groot as Sir George's daughter sings a soft
rock pop song so bad it makes David Hasselhoff look like David Bowie.
The cast is truly absymal. Roger's son Geoffrey, perhaps wisely, has
nothing to do, there's Marjoe Gortner of StarCrash as an announcer, a
character who is obsessed with bananas (no, I don't get it either), and
some terrible baddies who would be rejected at an audition for The
Bugaloos let alone any proper feature film.
hard to know what to make of Fire, Ice and Dynamite in the end. It's
not really what you could call a Roger Moore film or even a
conventional movie. It's more of a winter sports action comedy that
serves as a showcase for all the stunts and extreme sports capers
Bogner has come up with. It never really hangs together into a coherent
whole and isn't funny (despite the fact that it is clearly trying hard
to be amusing and madcap). Much of the film is horribly dated and naff.
Some of the stunts are very good though and the snow glazed backdrops
are enjoyable. You probably shouldn't go out of your way to watch this
if you've never seen it before but it's an experience if nothing else.
Fire, Ice and Dynamite is a strange one to be sure and only for extreme
winter sports fans and the very curious.