Judge David Johnson made some ice soldiers in his front yard, but they hooked up with the snow angels.
Below the ice. Buried in history. The Cold War begins again.
Dominic Purcell (Prison Break) continues his omnipresence on straight-to-home-video productions with another genre outing, this time in the realm of horror. I last saw him in the insane but laughably terrible Vikingdom, pushing out that stoic (read: plank-like) demeanor and deadpan line-reading. But the guy has a jaw shaped like the Aggro Crag and appears to have kept himself in decent shape so why not give him a sword or a gun and let him run wild?
It's a gun for this go-round, as Purcell plays a military egghead named Malraux, who's stationed in the armpit of the Arctic ice shelf, poking around on behalf of The Science. His team stumbles on an incredible discovery: the frozen bodies of three genetically modified Soviet super-soldiers.
Everyone is pretty excited about the discovery and think there's some money to be made, though Malraux is doubtful. On one hand, your bank account can be swelled significantly thanks to the inevitable boner serum that can be developed from a frozen super soldier's spleen; on the other, there's a great chance that screwing around with these guys leads to death and screaming.
Of course they go for the coinage and get the carnage instead. The soldiers spring to life, exerting the superhuman physical strength and emotionless desire to kill with wanton abandon, and generally causing a lot of trouble for everybody.
Nothing earth-shattering here. The film follows the same playbook as any thriller featuring a mysterious, unstoppable killing force menacing a pack of idiots in a remote location. The big differentiator here is that Ice Soldiers just isn't very exciting.
The production values are solid and with Michael Ironside along for the ride there is legit street cred when it comes to the cast; but this decent execution is pretty much squandered thanks to a pace that is straight-up glacial, so-to-speak. Although, to be fair, it's probably not all the fault of the creative brain trust. Of course these soldiers are going to come to life and get their homicide on and any burn—slow, fast or otherwise—is going to suffer from this inevitability. "Just get on with it," was a frequent sentiment kicking around my brainpan while I watched.
When the mayhem does drop, it's pretty much standard-issue stalking and stabbing. In fact, as I sit here pounding away at my keyboard, I'm having trouble conjuring up anything memorable action-wise.
Sony's Ice Soldiers (Blu-ray) is a looker, sporting a clean and atmospheric 2.40:1, 1080p transfer, bolstered by a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. No extras.
Guilty of making Soviet super-soldiers kind of boring.
Give us your feedback!
What's "fair"? Whether positive or negative, our reviews should be unbiased, informative, and critique the material on its own merits.
Scales of Justice
Review content copyright © 2014 David Johnson; Site design and review layout copyright © 2016 Verdict Partners LLC. All rights reserved.