Brrr and Yikes
I canít resist movies with stories played out in ice or snow. Some of my favorites include On Frozen Ground, The Colony, 30 Days of Night, Wind Chill and The Grey. Liam Neeson didnít disappoint me in The Grey and Laurence Fishburne was great in The Colony. Now they appear together in The Ice Road, a chiller action film from Netflix, which makes me very happy indeed. They play truckers with an almost impossible job. It involves delivering heavy equipment -- and by a deadline Ė to save Northern Canada diamond mine workers who are trapped and losing oxygen every minute.
Racing against time would be a guarantee for enough tension in this chilly offering. But adding a persistent villain and dangerous roads over a frozen ocean to the mix is cruel punishment for viewers. I mean that as a compliment. My husband and I were totally exhausted after watching The Ice Road. But we were glued to the screen every second. And our hearts beat faster in each scary scene. Plus, we actually felt COLD even though the temperature in our house remained at 74 degrees!
Big rigs race over ice terrain.
A mission that might be in vain.
Many obstacles in their way,
and someone plans them all to slay.
But miners are trapped. They might die.
The truckers have to bravely try
to bring equipment so theyíre out.
Chills and thrills. ďPlease get there,Ē we shout!
.Almost too much tension to take.
Yet what happens keeps us awake.
"The Ice Road" boasts action galore.
Plus with Neeson, who asks for more?
Surprises and plot twists help move the action along in this riveting film. But itís the icy road scenes that make it a memorable adventure. Kudos to the special and visual effects teams for the realistic creaky and cracking ice under the trucks that make us squirm with worry as the courageous truckers try to complete their mission. Dramatic background music also intensifies whatís happening on screen. Although I found it a bit intrusive at times, thatís a minor complaint. Production values are impressive here, including Tom Sternís atmospheric cinematography and David Bestís convincing art direction. Of course, director/writer Jonathan Hensleigh deserves recognition for maintaining the filmís urgent pacing.
Fortunately, brothers played by Neeson and Marcus Thomas earm our empathy right away. Mike (Neeson) is trying to protect Gurty (Thomas), a first-rate mechanic who suffers from PTSD and has just been fired from his job. We canít help cheering for this duo from the beginning of the movie to the end. Fishburne also portrays one of the good guys. But who are the bud guys? You will have to see The Ice Road to find out.
(Released by Neftlix and rated ďPG-13Ē by MPAA.)
Director/writer: Jonathan Hensleigh
Cinematographer: Tom Stern
Music: Max Aruj
Editing: Douglas Crise
Art Direction: David Best:
Key Supporting Cast Members: Amber Midthunder, Benjamin Walker, Matt McCoy, Matt Salinger, Martin Sensmeier