So i’m not really sure what I was expecting but whatever The Ice Road is….wasn’t it.
I’ll start with the lone Director-Writer Jonathan Hensleigh. Executive Producer of Con Air Armageddon, 2000s Gone in 60 Seconds, Screenwriter of Die Hard With a Vengeance, Jumanji, 2004s The Punisher and the director of The Punisher….a movie I quite like. Hensleigh hasn’t been a consistent success story in Hollywood but all of these were exceptional cinematic releases so you’d think The Ice Road might consist of at least a fraction of that filmmaking competency. Not even close.
The premise is intriguing though. Never been one of those diehard Ice Road Trucking fans but with a movie that involves such a dangerous occupational risk, you can count me in. But driving on a literal ice highway isnt enough so a B plot to save the diamond mine full of miners had to be included.
I had a sliver of hope this could be at least somewhat like any of the high stakes vehicular thrillers involving the trucking life…Road Games, Duel, White Line Fever, High-Ballin……but even films in a similar but very distant vein…. titles like Wages of Fear and it’s child of homage, Sorcerer….but this film sadly doesn’t even come close to any of these.
Liam Neeson phones it in as a diehard trucker with some ironically hilarious execution, Marcus Thomas plays his master mechanic mentally disabled brother, Amber Midthunder plays the angsty teen trucker, Laurence Fishburne dies not anticlimactically like a quarter way in, Benjamin Walker plays professional corporate muscle…. and the other characters don’t really matter.
Somehow The Ice Road makes a 1 hr 49 minute runtime feel like 3, especially with a final act that drags on and on and on, never causing me to anticipate what might come next. It’s non sense really and its not good at all. It was dumped on Netflix and it makes total sense why.