Most Xtreme Primates – Better than Winter Sports

Most Xtreme Primates – Better than Winter Sports

It’s Sunday afternoon, the kids are napping, and I’m primed for some exciting Olympic coverage courtesy of NBC. I’m ready to see dangerous aerial stunts, bone-crushing rink action and crumbling Russian hotel rooms.

I turn on the TV, and I get cross-country skiing. Really? It looks like a great aerobic exercise, but I want to see some real action.

Luckily, Netflix Streaming always has my back. Looking for something to fill my disappointment, I found a little-seen masterpiece that delivers genuine winter mountain thrills.

I’m talking about “MXP: Most Xtreme Primate.”

Yes, the third installment of the epic, ape-on-snow sports series that began with 2000’s “MVP: Most Valuable Primate.”

Trust me when I say you don’t need to have seen the previous films to understand the plot of “MXP.” Jack the chimpanzee (a former hockey star chimp to be exact) is supposed to go to Mexico on a family vacation but sneaks on the wrong plane – he’s off to Colorado! Now he’s ready to shred down the hill on a snowboard!

By any traditional means of quality, “MXP” is an awful, straight-to-video kiddie flick. Netflix has hundreds of titles as poorly written and acted as this, all to create the illusion of a deep and plentiful streaming film library.

That all being said, this is a movie about a chimp that can snowboard! No CGI trickery or a guy in a monkey suit necessary. I don’t know much, but I know that’s more interesting than cross-country skiing.

OK, so I wish Jack would’ve hopped on the snowboard earlier in the movie. It takes a solid 45 minutes before the chimp even hits the hill. We get some good stuff in the second half though, like when a couple of henchman on skis try to capture Jack with a giant net, only to stumble down the hill and turn into a giant rolling snowball. Hilarious.

In fact, “MXP” gave me such a high that I immediately went searching for more primate-themed offerings on Netflix. This isn’t an easy task, since the Netflix app on my television can only search by title. Search “Primate.” Not much luck. Search “Monkey.” The only solid entry is “Monkey Business,” starring Harvey Keitel, which you know I’ve already seen dozens of times.

Then, thanks to the random recommendation from a friend, I searched the words “Spy” and “Mate.” Jackpot.

“Spymate” is an epic action-adventure starring Minky, a retired spy-primate who jumps back into action to rescue his former (human) partner’s daughter (a young Emma Roberts from “We’re the Millers” and the current season of “American Horror Story”).

The star wattage doesn’t stop there – the film also stars “Spin City” alums Richard Kind and Barry Bostwick, and, in one of his final roles, “Karate Kid” mentor Pat Morita.

Needless to say, “Spymate” is twice the cinematic experience as “MXP,” featuring ape-tastic martial arts battles, lasers, volcanoes and death-defying-escapes-by-gliders.

I’m happy to report that NBC’s Olympics coverage the rest of the week has focused on more exciting events. It’s a good thing too, because Netflix had little else in the primate-action-adventure subgenre.

But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy “Spymate” more than, say, the men’s half-pipe competition.  I prefer happy endings. Get Shaun White to star alongside Jack in an “MXP” sequel, and I’ll personally give him a third gold medal.

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