DVD Review: ICE SOLDIERS

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Ice Soldiers Review

REVIEW: ICE SOLDIERS / CERT:15 / DIRECTOR: STURLA GUNNARSSON / SCREENPLAY: JONATHAN TAYLOR / STARRING: DOMINIC PURCELL, MICHAEL IRONSIDE, ADAM BEACH, GABRIEL HOGAN, CAMILLE SULLIVAN / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

The almost unavoidable problem facing any SF/horror movie which is set in the Antarctic/Arctic is that it’s never going to be able to escape comparison with The Thing (or The Thing From Another World or even, troublingly, that pointless prequel/remake from a couple of years ago). But Ice Soldiers just shrugs its shoulders, says ‘yeah, so what?’ and goes its own sweet snowy way. Although it has scarcely a single original bone in its ninety-minute body, Ice Soldiers is big, brash fun, an unashamed breezy B-Movie with absolutely no delusions of grandeur and with a simple aim to entertain.

In the Canadian Arctic in 1962 a trio of genetically engineered Cold War-era Russian super soldiers are awoken from a long, frozen sleep and set about slaughtering the scientists in the expedition team which has roused them. Fifty years later and another team arrives in the snowy wastes; Dr Andrew Malraux (Prison Break’s square-jawed Dominic Purcell) wants to track down the legendary long-lost soldiers and Jane Frazer (Sullivan) is surveying the region for a dodgy oil company. Jane and Andrew flirt briefly but Andrew is about as responsive as a block of ice. “I was told you were nearly fifty,” says Jane to Andy at one point, an odd line of dialogue whose meaning becomes apparent right at the end of the movie…

Before long the refrozen soldiers (basically just great hulking blond Aryan hunks) are rediscovered and reawakened. They wipe out the entire team bar Andrew who sets off alone to track them down and destroy them before they can carry out a long-planned terrorist attack on New York. Ice Soldiers suddenly veers off in a new direction and develops a new dynamic as Andrew meets up with tough trapper T.C. Cardinal (Beach) and together the pair close in on the ruthless, indestructible soldiers…

Snappy, unpretentious and beautifully filmed – director Gunnarsson knows exactly how to exploit the cold majesty of his locations – Ice Soldiers is undemanding thriller filler boasting surprisingly decent production values, sprightly action sequences and an oddly clumsy leading man in Steven Seagal-lookalike Purcell. It’s a snowbound sci-fi snack guaranteed to evoke a flurry of interest even if the frequent talky bits might cause your attention to drift a bit, especially if you’re watching it during a meal, possibly avalanche [You have got to be joking! - Ed].

Extras: None


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