It really could be worse: Slap Shot 2: Breaking the Ice could be D2: The Mighty Ducks. Director Steve Boyum is no stranger to the ice hockey rink and B-movie schlock (past credits include stunt work for the Mighty Ducks sequel and, most notably, The Beastmaster). Uncommonly good looking for a straight-to-video title, Slap Shot 2 is not unlike the George Roy Hill über-classic Slap Shot in that its one-track mentality can be found neatly pucked inside hockey player pants. Hockey is a contact sport for the otherwise sensitive Hetero Erectus Sean Linden (Stephen Baldwin). Because “real men play real hockey” it’s especially hard for Sean and his Charlestown Chiefs to go slumming in Omaha as part of a made-for-TV hockey league (think Harlem Globetrotters on ice without the soul). Screenwriter Broderick Miller takes his time establishing quirky character gimmicks (a bathroom sequence is the film’s OCD highlight) but Slap Shot 2 is offensively drunk on its own testosterone. The Hanson Brothers (the Lone Gunmen on ice), still kooky after some 25 years, earn their “hockey chick” schtick because, well, they look like they could never snag a hockey chick. Jessica Steen manages to subvert much of the film’s machismo with her dick-waving knowledge of hockey trivia but there’s no excuse for the script’s blatant homophobia. The coach for the Chiefs’s opponent team is a nelly ex-Broadway producer who takes the “pansy” and “butt-ending” jokes with nary a blink. His eyes, though, are on full gaga alert when the Chiefs poison their opponents with a penis-enlarging drug at a horny geriatric facility. Gays will be gays and men will be men, or so says Slap Shot redux.
Now for the good stuff: as shot by Joel Ransom (an "X-Files" alum and Emmy nominee), Slap Shot 2 is so crisp and smooth that its straight-to-video fate can only be blamed on the reductive script. Though low on the bone-crunch factor (you might wish the film was directed by Oliver Stone in Any Given Sunday mode), the film's ice rink shenanigans are expertly caught on tape, um, film. The disc's sound has a fuller range on the optional, superior English DTS soundtrack.
As far as straight-to-video-sports-flicks-with-porn-titles go, Slap Shot 2 has gotten the red carpet treatment in the extras department. Included here is an interview with the Hanson Brothers, production notes, filmographies and, most notably, a 13-minute making-of featurette that says everything that needs to be said about the film's target audience.
If you listen carefully, you might be able to hear the kettle-fried pork rinds crowd rejoicing.