“The Ice Road” is a new film streaming on Netflix released on June 25 stars Liam Neeson as Mike an experienced trucker from North Dakota and his brother, Gurty (Marcus Thomas), who are called in by a Mining company in a remote part of Manitoba to deliver a 25 ton wellhead and piping to cap a methane well that has 26 miners trapped and running out of oxygen.
The team is assembled by Goldenrod (Laurence Fishburne), a trucker who has been driving the so-called “ice roads” in Canada for years. It is late in the season and the roads have been closed for weeks due to the dangerous conditions as temperatures warm up. The third driver is Tantoo (Amber Midthunder) whose brother is one of the miners trapped, and whose life depends on her and the team to deliver equipment.
If you enjoy Liam Neeson, and his typical non-stop action movies he stars in, this one will be for you. At times some of the scenes are way over the top, but the thrills keep the viewer engaged. It was an interesting plot with some nuances of truck travel over the ice roads revealed throughout the movie.
Midthunder was a nice counterbalance to the grizzled persona of Neeson. I felt like their characters had decent on-screen chemistry despite their differences.
The film’s weakest parts are the scenes where they cut to the trapped miners. There is little to no character development so it is hard to really empathize with their plight. The limited interactions of the trapped miners seem implausible as a foreman suggests they “decrease their numbers” to conserve oxygen. This ploy to increase the drama in the film falls flat.
Overall, I enjoyed the film and thought it was a fun, midweek escape, but there wasn’t anything in the movie that made it stand out from similar action-thrillers centered around Neeson.
The film was written and directed by Jonathan Hensleigh (Kill the Irishman).