Review: Liam Neeson’s Latest Frosty Thriller ‘The Ice Road’

Jonathan Hensleigh

Jonathan Hensleigh

Stars: Liam Neeson, Marcus Thomas, Laurence Fishburne

If you were a fan of the TV show “Ice Road Truckers”, then your in luck, because Liam Neeson has found a way to deliver you the excitement of that reality show combined with the action thrill of ‘The Fast and The Furious’. Neeson returns to his action roots in the brand new thriller ‘The Ice Road’. This is Jonathan Hensleigh’s first feature as writer-director since “Kill the Irishman”, and in this he has Neeson as one of three drivers making a dangerous journey to deliver equipment needed to rescue trapped miners in Northern Manitoba. It all goes down pretty much as you’d expect, especially coming from the screenwriter of such cinematic thrill rides as Armageddon and Die Hard With a Vengeance.

The story goes as follows; At a Canadian diamond mine 400 miles below the Arctic Circle, a methane explosion kills a numerous amount of workers and strands another 26 in a tunnel deep beneath the surface. Between limited oxygen and frosty temperatures, the survivors only have 30 hours to live. It’s up to Jim Goldenrod (Laurence Fishburne) to get together a team of draft qualified drivers to transport important equipment along treacherous ice roads, in vehicles weighing up to 65,000 pounds. He acquires the help of ex-employee and Native rights activist Tantoo (Amber Midthunder), who’s eager for the task since her brother is among the trapped. He also takes on the expertise of Mike (Neeson), a big-rigger who’s just lost yet another job due to brother Gurty (Marcus Thomas), a talented mechanic but also a PTSD-afflicted, childlike Iraq War veteran who requires a considerable amount of caretaking.

The crew along their journey face a series of dangers both from mother nature and Tantoo’s passenger Varney, who says he’s the insurance company’s representative, but may have a malevolent hidden agenda. Whatever comes their way on this adventure, Neeson remains the leader and takes center stage as the hero. He’s afforded few opportunities to flash any kind of charisma or menace, although he does get to throw some punches by the end.

For fans of Liam Neeson movies, you’ll get exactly that, a Liam Neeson movie. It’s packed full of action, thrill rides and a whole lot of heart. Overloaded with thrills, in general “The Ice Road” is executed in professional and imaginative fashion. What Neeson proves yet again is even at the brink of 70, he still continues to plays these parts like he’s in his commercial prime. ‘The Ice Road’ is out now.

neillfrazer@hotmail.com

Written By: Neill Frazer

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