Wednesday, April 30, 2014

In short: Ice Soldiers (2013)

During the Cuba Crisis. a warmongering Soviet splinter group sends three genetically modified, crazy, recreationally rapist super soldiers to blow up a bomb in New York. After destroying an outpost in the Canadian Arctic and leaving one woman behind alive, the trio gets frozen up somehow, though. Fifty years later, Malraux (the charisma-free zone of bloated beefcake known as Dominic Purcell), the son of said woman – of course the product of evil Soviet super soldier rape – makes a pact with a – most probably evil – corporation and their pet ex-military (Michael Ironside, cruising for a pay check) to get the opportunity to search for his father and associates. He does indeed find them, but his efforts are only going to be cause for them coming back to life again and continuing their mildly effective killing spree. Soon, Malraux is the only member of the expedition still alive and goes on the hunt for the three super soldiers.

Sturla Gunnarsson’s Ice Soldiers is a bit of frustrating experience, the sort of film that’s always nearly making an interesting point, barely exploring interesting themes, and just missing really exhilarating action set pieces, as if it were made by people who didn’t have much of a grip on what could be done with the material at hand.

It really is a shame too, for the action movie style confrontation between evil super soldier dad and a son who isn’t quite sure about the answer to the whole nature versus nurture question could have been, if not deeply original, a nice way to ask slightly philosophical questions through violence, as is tradition in these kinds of circumstances. Unfortunately, Ice Soldiers doesn’t really get around to much more than a few very obvious moments of doubtful dialogue; the violence on the other hand never gets all that interesting or expressive on its own, its case certainly not helped by a non-performance by Purcell that reaches Steven Seagal levels of bloated protagonist who can’t be bothered.

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