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The Ice Road - Film Review

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Published July 31st 2021
An impossible rescue mission over a frozen ocean

The Ice Road stars Liam Neeson, Laurence Fishburne, Marcus Thomas, Amber Midthunder, Benjamin Walker, Matt McCoy, Holt McCallany and Martin Sensmeier. Directed by Jonathan Hensleigh, with a running time of 109 minutes, it's due out in cinemas on 12 August 2021.

After a remote diamond mine collapses in far northern Canada, a 'big-rig' ice road driver (Neeson) must lead an impossible rescue mission over a frozen ocean to save the 26 trapped miners. Contending with thawing waters and a massive storm, they discover the real threat is one they never saw coming.


This is an action movie set in a unique environment. The stressors are - the trapped miners have only 36 hours of oxygen left, and the only way to transport the heavy equipment needed to rescue them is in three semi-trucks going 300 miles across an ice road, at the close of ice road season. This is going to be one hell of a ride, so strap in!

Liam Neeson is Mike McCann and Marcus Thomas his younger brother Gurty. They are truck drivers for hire and come as a pair. Big brother Mike takes care of Gurty who served in Iraq and is suffering from aphasia. Laurence Fishburne is Jim Goldenrod, owner of a trucking transport business called Trappers. He's the guy that gets the call to find the drivers to move the equipment that needs to be taken where the miners are trapped, and doubles as the second driver.


Amber Midthunder is Tantoo, the third driver who has a personal stake as her brother Cody (Martin Sensmeier) is one of the miners trapped underground. Riding with her is Benjamin Walker as Tom Varnay, a company man along for the ride as a spectator to keep an eye on things for the General Manager of the Mine, George Sickle (Matt McCoy). Holt McCallany is Lampard, a miner trapped underground with Cody; both emerging as staunch defenders of the injured miners who are really in bad shape.

Shot in Canada in the city of Winnipeg and the province of Manitoba under real conditions on real ice roads, the location is vast and stunning in its emptiness, in the middle of nowhere. The cinematography does a good job of highlighting the aloneness of the truck drivers, on lonely vast roads - help nowhere to be found. You couldn't imagine much happening in the film in all this emptiness, yet, once the characters are out on the ice road, that's when the action really starts. The tension is drawn like a tightrope, and will have you on the edge of your seat with bated breath.


You couldn't imagine yet another Liam Neeson action movie being any different; expecting a lot of same-same. Yet, what really stands out in this film is that there's a lot of heart at its core and it doesn't disappoint. The characters are memorable, the strongest between the brothers. It has sad and powerful scenes thrown into this loving but difficult sibling relationship that'll move you emotionally. Marcus Thomas as Gurty is a standout, as he plays this afflicted character that has his own set of skills. Though not in a leading role, he's the one who'll steal your heart, with his ability to bring complexity to his character that'll have you quite emotional .

Another standout is Benjamin Walker as the company man going along for the ride. He peels the hidden layers of his character with great skill. He has the ability to keep it under wraps; bringing it out ever so slowly, catching you by surprise. Not a movie that'll win Oscars, but definitely one that'll give you enough bang for your buck and keep you rooted to your seat till the very end. The emotions and relationship between the characters are what sets it apart from just being about a truck racing across the ice road.



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Why? The Ice Road Film Review starring Liam Neeson
When: In Cinemas 12 August 2021
Where: Australia
Your Comment
I'll definitely be looking out for this. I'm a Liam Neeson fan and never miss an episode of Ice Road Truckers. Hopefully the Wonthaggi cinema will screen it, otherwise it will be a trip to Melbourne.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|9023) 55 days ago
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by Marisa Quinn-Haisu on 08/08/2021
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