Connect with us

Action

The Ice Road | Review

The Ice Road is a baffling action picture, and a terrible vehicle for Liam Neeson to star in.

Published

on

*Warning: This piece contains spoilers for The Ice Road*

Liam Neeson’s gruff masculine performance is back (with a vengeance, yet again, because that’s the only thing he’s been doing for over ten years now) in The Ice Road, one of the most abysmal pictures you’ll see all year. Abysmal, how? It’s Liam Neeson driving a Kenworth truck on thin ice, as he and a crew of fellow truckers must bring a Wellhead to the Katka mine in Manitoba, in which a group of 26 miners are trapped due to a methane explosion; how can that be bad? Well, for starters, it starts early-on when Mark McCann (Neeson) quickly realizes that the Katka Mine company wants the crew to fail by sending an actuary (Benjamin Walker) to sabotage the mission and make sure they do not make it to the mine, as they are covering up a potential political scandal. This is where The Ice Road goes to shit, for lack of better words, and never wants to keep it simple instead.

The Ice Road': First Look At Liam Neeson In Action Rescue Movie – Deadline

Bad CGI aside, this could’ve been a rather enjoyable “race against time” movie, commanded by Neeson, in which the task-at-hand would be extremely difficult due to ever-changing weather and an unreliable ice surface. We’d obviously anticipate a positive outcome and success in the mission, even if some lives are lost, and the crew escapes the unthinkable multiple times. That’s not what happens, as director Jonathan Hensleigh wants to throw in a badly shoved-in commentary on the evils of being a “business as usual” capitalist, in which the millionaires sit at an office desk do not care about workplace safety if it equals more money for them. That’s fine if you want to paint the CEO of Katka as a spineless man who only cares about filling his pockets that’ll dictate his “tough decisions,” instead of making him look like an assassin (?) who’ll do anything to make sure the crew never arrives with the Wellheads? Why? What’s his endgame? To cover up the fact that he ordered the mining crew to cut off the methane sensors so the mine wouldn’t shut down? That’s it? You literally hire a killer to cover up your own mess to constantly fill your pocket and stage a tragedy? Who on earth would want to do something as baffling as this?

So instead of having this fairly standard “race against time” thriller I’ve mentioned in the last paragraph, we’re stuck inside a political action film/revenge flick we don’t want a part of. The trailers do not advertise The Ice Road as a political action film. Liam Neeson will have to exact revenge on the capitalists who want the crew dead to stage a tragedy, but rather a “race against time” thriller that I’ve mentioned for a third time now! Of course, there is the “race against time,” since McCann et al. has 30 hours to make it to the mine before the crew deprive themselves of oxygen and die, but the “race against time” the trailers promote is the one of unpredictable climate, thin ice and cracks that make for a perilous journey, not Benjamin Walker trying to kill everyone for reasons that make absolutely no sense! My God, imagine if you’re embroiled in a scandal that could end your career, and now you have the opportunity to become the hero of the day that has saved the Katka miners from asphyxiation! People will likely turn a blind eye to potential scandal if it means trying to do right by the mistakes you’ve made in the past instead of turning into a complete psychopath hellbent on making sure nobody lives to tell the tale of Katka’s malpractices. Of course, you turned out to be a heartless person, but at least you did the right thing for once and realized how egotistical you were by leaving the men to die and not caring about their safety.

Liam Neeson's Next Big Action Movie Is Going Straight To Netflix

The Ice Road doesn’t care about any of that, nor the moral aspects of leaving the miners to die. Once it’s revealed that Benjamin Walker’s Varnay sabotaged the mission and caused the death of Laurence Fishburne’s Goldenrod, this is where the film quickly fizzles out and never recovers afterward. Before that, it was an easygoing (albeit uninspired) truck action picture that only set itself up as being an environmental “race against time” picture. The environmental challenge is still there, with some of the worst CGI effects I’ve seen all year, but it takes a backseat and prefers to tell a story nobody cares about and has any interest in seeing. It’s completely baffling to see to what extent will Varnay go to make sure they don’t make it to the mine. His demeanor is particularly God-like, surviving the most unrealistic car crash imaginable, blowing up ice with dynamite in more ways than one, and ordering James Bond-lite henchman to kill McCann and his brother, Gurty (Marcus Thomas), without the use of weapons to make it look like an accident. The cherry on top is the final fight between Varnay and Mark—with a clear stunt double replacing Liam Neeson during close-up moments with soulless cinematography from Tom Stern, a usually decent director of photography.

Liam Neeson & 'The Ice Road' Cast Braved Extreme Temps for the Action  Thriller | Entertainment | insidenova.com

There’s no creativity in any of the film’s action sequences. They’re either horrendously shot to the point where it looks like a bad SyFy original or filled with visual effects likely made for 5¢ that renders every scene unintentionally hilarious. Varnay’s death is hilarious here, with the fakest waves you’ve ever seen since Sharknado. Since there’s no creativity to render any of the action scenes competent or palatable to watch, none of the performances particularly hit either. The only one that seems to care is Laurence Fishburne, who magnifies the screen by briefly starring in the film. Neeson phones in his usual macho schtick, adding not much else to his “this time, it’s personal” tenure he’s been doing in his sleep since he starred in the dreadful Taken trilogy. Neeson only seems to shine in action films when they’re directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, real action movies with a soul, compelling aesthetics, and competently shot action sequences.

Serra is an old-school filmmaker who knows exactly the kind of acting Neeson excels at, reviving his career à la Charles Bronson Cannon Group partnership. Jonathan Hensleigh, in the case of The Ice Road, only knows that Neeson will do a half-competent job as roles like these are now an easy paycheck for him. Neeson should absolutely do more than an easy paycheck and stick to more nuanced, dramatic performances instead of doing “gruff” Taken-esque action films all the time. They’re no fun anymore, for the audience and him as well. It’s finally time to move on.

The Ice Road is now streaming on Netflix (U.S. Only) and available to rent or buy on video-on-demand (Canada/International).

FILM RATING

Action

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore – New Teaser Trailer

Published

on

You are invited back into the Magic! as Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, audiences will be taken back into the familiar and immersive world of magic, fun and excitement, featuring even more compelling and unique magical beasts in an all-new story that truly expands the iconic Wizarding World in surprising and unexpected ways.

Synopsis

Professor Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) knows the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) is moving to seize control of the wizarding world. Unable to stop him alone, he entrusts Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to lead an intrepid team of wizards, witches and one brave Muggle baker on a dangerous mission, where they encounter old and new beasts and clash with Grindelwald’s growing legion of followers. But with the stakes so high, how long can Dumbledore remain on the sidelines?

Image via Warner Bros

Dive into the complex, high-stakes relationship between Grindelwald and Dumbledore and unlock the story of these two legendary wizards.And for the first time, audiences will get an inside look at the complicated and enigmatic Dumbledore.

The film is also the ultimate wizard heist as what follows in The Secrets of Dumbledore is an action-packed cat-and-mouse game of secretive plans, mysteries and fun twists and turns. Our unlikely heroes – Newt, Jacob, Kama, Lally, Bunty and Theseus are brought together by Dumbledore in an attempt to defeat Grindelwald.

From the teaser trailer it looks like this film will be magical on the big screen as it’s a richly realised expansion of the story fans have been craving, a transportive cinematic experience for all ages that features familiar connections to Harry Potter, whilst also keeping the classic Magical elements like the whimsy humour as well as the heartwarming moments and heart-stopping action.

The film features an ensemble cast led by Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”), two-time Oscar nominee Jude Law (“Cold Mountain,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley”), Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Callum Turner, Jessica Williams, Katherine Waterston, and Mads Mikkelsen.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” was directed by David Yates, from a screenplay by J.K. Rowling & Steve Kloves, based upon a screenplay by J.K. Rowling. The film was produced by David Heyman, J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves, Lionel Wigram and Tim Lewis. Neil Blair, Danny Cohen, Josh Berger, Courtenay Valenti and Michael Sharp served as executive producers.

Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” is the newest adventure in the Wizarding World™ created by J.K. Rowling.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore will be released in cinemas across the UK & Ireland on 8 April 2022 by Warner Bros. Pictures.

FILM RATING
Continue Reading

Action

The Book of Boba Fett | Disney + | Star Wars – Official Trailer

On the sands of Tatoonie, bounty hunter Boba Fett and mercenary Fennec Shand navigate the Galaxy’s underworld and fight for Jabba the Hutt’s old territory.

Published

on

Genre:

Action, Adventure, Sci-fi

Release Date:

December 29, 2021

Producers:

Jon Favreau; Dave Filoni; Robert Rodriguez; Kathleen Kennedy

Cast:

Tamuera Morrison, Ming-Na Wen

Plot Summary:

On the sands of Tatoonie, bounty hunter Boba Fett and mercenary Fennec Shand navigate the Galaxy’s underworld and fight for Jabba the Hutt’s old territory.

FILM RATING
Continue Reading

Action

The Witcher Season 2 | Netflix – Official Trailer

Destiny is a beast. Watch the official trailer for Season 2 of The Witcher. The Witcher Season 2 debuts December 17, only on Netflix.

Published

on

Genre:

Fantasy, Action, Adventure

Release Date:

December 17, 2021

Director:

Netflix

Cast:

Henry Cavill, Anya Chalotra, Freya Allan

Plot Summary:

Destiny is a beast. Watch the official trailer for Season 2 of The Witcher. The Witcher Season 2 debuts December 17, only on Netflix.

FILM RATING
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Popular Now

Advertisement
Advertisement

TRENDING NOW

Trending

0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x