Liam Neeson has had quite the illustrious career. From portraying iconic characters in the eighties and nineties and entering the action realm in the late two-thousands; his presence on the screen is surely undeniable. He’s a likeable guy and seeing him either act with passion or beating up bad guys is something that will always be entertaining. The Ice Road is the newest addition to his action filmography and if you’ve seen the previews already or spotted them on your Netflix account, you may think that this is just another boring action flair with nothing new to add to the genre. While you may be right on that account, The Ice Road is a nevertheless entertaining movie that focuses more on the story element than goofy action sequences. All in all, it’s a fun ride.
The movie opens in Manitoba, Canada where a mine collapse traps twenty-six workers down below. With the clock already ticking, the workers are faced with a waiting game in order for rescuers to save them before they all run out of air. The company named Katka runs the mine and seeing this disaster has them concerned. Unable to land an airplane that could carry the necessary tools to rescue the miners, the only option is to gather a team of truck drivers (specifically ice road truckers) to transport a large wellhead to the mine in time for everyone to be saved. It’s a race against the clock and the only way to get there fast enough is to drive the nearly three-hundred miles from Winnipeg to Manitoba via the ice road!
Mike (Liam Neeson) and his brother Gurty (Marcus Thomas) tag team together to apply for the job. Mike can drive the rig while Gurty is the fastest and handiest mechanic who can repair anything on the fly. His disability makes him awkward around people something he endured during his Army service but Mike stands by his brother’s side. Along for the ride is Jim (Laurence Fishburne) who is heading the rescue mission and a woman named Tantoo (Amber Midthunder). Riding as a tagalong is Tom (Benjamin Walker) who is a company man who wants to oversee this rescue attempt.
Driving on the ice is scary enough but imagine seeing three rigs carrying tons of weight in cargo! Every second counts, the speed at which you are driving is vital and one mistake can cost you your life. Imagine watching an episode of Ice Truckers but add Liam Neeson to the mix and a little bit of action and there you have The Ice Road. The plot is simple to follow, the action isn’t exactly over-the-top like previous Neeson movies such as Taken or Non-Stop, but regardless, this movie is a lot of fun. It reminded me of that utterly insane Hurricane Heist film that was such a guilty pleasure for me. The Ice Road isn’t that silly of a movie but if you’re in the mood for an action movie, this will suffice.
The movie was written and directed by Jonathan Hensleigh who is best known for writing Die Hard with a Vengeance, Armageddon and Next; which all of these are mindless fun to say the least. With The Ice Road we get a plot driven film instead of mindless action where everything blows up. It may be goofy at times but if you got about two hours to spare, it’s worth your time.
Score 3.5 out of 5
The Ice Road is a B-movie and nothing else. It doesn’t try to be flashy or over-the-top but it certainly is a lot of fun to watch. It may not hit the high marks of other Liam Neeson action flairs, but this is nevertheless an enjoyable ride. You’ll have a grin on your face during some of the intense moments in the movie and when it’s all over, you won’t say that you were bored. It’s a more grounded action movie and like I said prior; it’s a B movie. So, give it a shot and enjoy it for what it is. I surely did.
The Ice Road is available on Netflix now.