film reel image

film reel image

Sunday, July 4, 2021

The Ice Road 2021 * * Stars


"Told you this wasn't gonna be easy". That's a line from 2021's The Ice Road. Yup, suicide missions with trucks are never easy. You could honestly go under the crackling verglas at any moment. 

So yeah, "Ice Road" is about a forlorn ice driver who leads a crew over a frozen ocean to rescue some trapped miners in northern Canada. Liam Neeson stars and that extends his record of films that take place in the winter months and/or are released in the winter months. What can I say, Neeson just digs that frigid air. He also likes to appear haggard and 5 o'clocked as he gives us that Neeson, obligatory badass moment (a dude falls smack-down to the ground with one punch). 

Released in June of this year, distributed by Netflix, and featuring a brief screen appearance by Laurence Fishburne, The Ice Road is basically rawhide Neeson-ed personified. Yeah there's action but the polar discord aspect overtakes everything. Liam Neeson is the do-gooder, the scruffy dude with nothing to lose, the Irishman, and the Everyman. If you seen a lot of his movies (and I have), you're pretty much getting type-casting 101.  

But wait, "Ice Road's" director (Kill the Irishman's Jonathan Hensleigh) is the culprit here, not Neeson. Badly borrowing chase clips from The Fast and the Furious and The Road Warrior, he lets his scenes go on far too long. Yeah the flick does its ice trucking research and there's a few conflicting moments. However, things just never shift into second gear (that's a blatant rig reference). It also doesn't help that Max Aruj's musical score is over-dramatic and straight from the land of direct-to-video. I mean why be so serious and so slog-y at the same time. You could've had "ice" instead of 108 minutes of "vanilla". 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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