Hollywood Movie Review - The Ice Road - 2021 - Tenacious Cinema - Much Ado About Everything
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Hollywood Movie Review – The Ice Road – 2021 – Tenacious Cinema

by AniM
the ice road poster
The Ice Road Poster

Movie Review – The Ice Road – Gritty but Average Entertainer

My Rating – 3.5 out of 5

Plot Summary – The Ice Road

Mount up. Use the head now if you have to. We’re on a Bull Run!

Goldenrod from The Ice Road

Liam Neeson, the gruff, unsmiling hulk of a middle aged man has kind of got stereotyped into this kind of a role. You see a movie starring him and you start imagining on what background he’s going to unleash his somber histrionics now! So much so, that I’ve had second thoughts on whether to watch another one starring him before I read the reviews. But this time, I went ahead and watched it first, for the sake of old hits like “Taken” etc. He has Lawrence Fishburne for company here, and the story holds a lot of promise and relevance.

The story has a resonating connection to our times – in the sense that Corporate greed is destroying so much of Mother Nature for short-term gains. The setting – the harsh, unforgiving snowed over landscape of North America – where the pristine white of Nature hides mankind’s dirty secrets, reminds one of “Cold Pursuit” – the 2019 Liam Neeson release. Now coming back to The Ice Road – In Manitoba, Canada, a massive methane explosion rocks the diamond mine and traps twenty six miners inside. The Mining Company orders for emergency transport of wellheads to cap the Mine shaft and extract the miners before they run out of oxygen.

The Ice Road Original Trailer

Jim Goldenrod (Lawrence Fishburne) is the fixer cum contractor who sets up the Transport to Katka Diamond Mine over 23 hours of driving away. The roads are perilous, over frozen lakes and rivers where 30 inches of hard ice have to take the load of 65,000 lbs vehicles (cab + container), and miles of barren wilderness and solitude. Jim puts together a ragtag bunch of drivers for the journey – Mike (Liam Neeson) and his brother Gurty (Marcus Thomas) – who suffers from PTSD and Aphasia after his stint in the Iraq War, and Tantoo (Amber Midthunder) – a native American whose brother is also among the trapped miners.

The trio set off in three Rigs carrying three wellheads (to avoid redundancy, in case one or two fail to make the journey) and are accompanied by a risk evaluator – Varnay (Benjamin Walker) from the Mining company. It is after this that the movie starts to go off the rails a bit, the excellent cinematography notwithstanding. Events are a little predictable and the treacherous exposures of the characters involved in the journey hold no surprise and are a tad too dramatic. The setting and premise of the movie held promise of far better things but the subsequent handling is quite ordinary and never raises the movie to above average levels.

Conclusion – Movie Review of The Ice Road

There is much to like about Liam Neeson, but his recent choices of films that he stars in are turning out be rather average. The intensity of his characters remain but gets drowned by the surrounding ordinariness. It is never unwatchable but so predictable that one could almost announce the next scene without the chance of being too far wrong. There are strong messages in the movie – inadequate or non-existent War Veteran rehabilitation, PTSD treatment and how Corporate greed is messing up Mother Nature – but most of it gets lost in the morass of mediocre storytelling.

A passable watch, if you nothing better to do, but in case you do watch this, you will be left ruing the opportunity missed of making great cinema from the kernel of the idea behind this one.

the ice road poster 2
The Ice Road Poster II

* I hope you have liked reading this movie review, as much as I have enjoyed writing this! Do watch this space for more such reviews and navigate through the links below for more… Thank you!! *

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