In Cinemas now!
(Reviewed by John Glennie)
An explosion in a diamond mine in northern Canada traps a number of miners underground. With only 30 hours of oxygen left, the race is on to get specialised equipment brought up from North Dakota by truck. There is significant danger though as they need to travel the ice road to get there and it is spring, with the perma-frost starting to melt.
The ice roads are 30cm thick sheets of solid ice that form over the top of rivers and lakes etc. Leading the team is seasoned ice-trucker Jim Goldenrod (Laurence Fishburne) who bails young native-American Tantoo (Amber Midthunder) out of jail and recruits Mike McCann (Liam Neeson) and his PTSD-affected mechanic brother Gurty (Marcus Thomas). They are to take three trucks, each with the same equipment, to the stricken mine. The logic is that at least one will make it all the way to free the miners. They are accompanied by the insurance agent responsible for the trucks, Tom Varnay (Benjamin Walker).
About halfway along their expedition, Jim’s truck blows a gasket and is forced to stop – with dire consequences! However, it soon becomes apparent that the true enemy isn’t the melting ice, but something more sinister. Tom wants to cancel the rescue mission as his company is responsible for the trucks, but Tantoo insists on proceeding as her brother is one of the trapped miners.
The movie was quite gripping and tense for about the first two-thirds, but when the non-stop confrontations with the bad guys comes into play it gets a bit ridiculous. There are quite a few occasions where I was left wondering:
- how did they keep the trucks going straight on the icy roads while wrestling with an attacker?
- how did X walk back several miles from a wrecked truck to the snow jet-ski so quickly?
- how did Y get from one scene of carnage to the other side of the river when there wasn’t a bridge?
If you can turn a blind eye to a lot of this cinematic licence, then you will probably enjoy the tension and action!