The Ice Road Review
Long-distance truckers race to the rescue in an action-packed blue-collar thriller. The ice road follows the frenzied response to a mine collapse deep in the Canadian tundra. Liam Neeson comes to Netflix as a recently fired trucker who enlisted for the perilous journey. The ice road it has its fair share of cliches, but it also surprises with several unexpected twists. The tension remains taut at all times as the perspective shifts back and forth from the trapped miners to the frozen highway. The Ice Road Review
The story begins in a diamond mine near the Arctic Circle in Canada. René Lampard (Holt McCallany) goes underground to check the methane readings in tunnel six. As he scolds the miners for lax safety procedures, a bag of methane explodes, trapping twenty-six men under tons of rubble. Mining executive George Sickle (Matt McCoy) watches the explosion from his office. The company launches rescue operations, but cannot reach the miners. They have thirty hours before their oxygen runs out.
In North Dakota, Goldenrod (Laurence Fishburne) has a Hail Mary plan to save the miners. The rescue team is too heavy to carry to the mine. You can lead a team of three great platforms through dangerous Canadian ice. Each truck would weigh twenty-five tons, an extremely risky endeavor in places where frozen lakes would be only inches thick.
Mike McCann (Liam Neeson) and his brain-damaged brother, Gurty (Marcus Thomas), have just been fired from their jobs for fighting. Goldenrod recruits the McCanns and a rebellious Cree Indian trucker, Tantoo (Amber Midthunder), whose brother (Martin Sensmeier) is one of the trapped miners. Together with Varnay (Benjamin Walker), the company’s insurance actuary, they team up on the rigs and drive towards the mine. They soon discover that time is not their only adversary. The Ice Road Review
The movie has multiple concurrent subplots. Some of which are a bit over the top. I will focus on the McCann brothers as the most troublesome. Gurty has aphasia, a speech and expression disorder, due to his injuries as a soldier in Iraq. Mike has to decipher his brother’s communication and defend him from bullies. This is the emotional basis of the plot, but frankly it gets artificial. Gurty can’t cope with his coworkers. But you can hit the bad guys in melee to fight; while driving a truck. It’s a long stretch that doesn’t really make any sense. The Ice Road Review
The ice road nail the big truck action. You will get your semi in spades here. Writer / director Jonathan Hensleigh (Kill the irish, The Punisher) keeps trucks front and center at all times. Sixteen-wheelers battle inclement weather, extreme terrain, and fierce assaults from ruthless thugs. The fight on the platforms, while skating on the ice packs, generates legitimate emotions. The movie has a problem with unrealistic CGI effects. Snowstorms and avalanches appear computerized. That said, the CGI doesn’t detract from the overall scope of the action. The truck scenes look good and that’s the most important aspect of the movie.
I enjoyed seeing Liam Neeson in this change of pace role. He doesn’t fire a single shot or take down opponents with expert martial arts. Neeson brings out the brave, working-class hero. The ice road is an entertaining action movie and two-hour commercial for Kenworth trucks. The film is produced by Code Entertainment, ShivHans Pictures, and Envision Media Arts. It will premiere globally on June 25 on Netflix.
The Ice Road, Netflix, The Ice Road Review
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