Sunday, September 2, 2007

The Ice Harvest (2005)

* *

Is the Ice Harvest supposed to be funny? dark? thrilling? stylish? funny? Considering a cast headlined by John Cusack and Billy Bob Thorton and direction from Harold Ramis, the Ice Harvest should be better than it is. The film attempts to be too many things at once without being really good at anything. A lawyer and strip club owner played by Cusack and Thorton, respectively, attempt a heist on Christmas Eve and madness, or dullness, ensues. The film takes place in one long night and involves a cast of shady characters strangely interacting with each other. There are a few interesting scenes of dialogue with both Cusack and Thorton including one that involves a man in a box. The only supporting actor worth noting is the typically over-the-top Oliver Platt who is surprisingly entertaining as a drunken husband and father unsatisfied with life. Richard Russo (with no previously noteworthy works) and Robert Benson (Kramer vs. Kramer, Superman, Bonnie and Clyde) collaborated on the screenplay which comes across as some sort of side project that didn't receive much attention. The plot twists are generally not surprising and by the time there are surprises you don't care about them. It seems as if Ramis had hoped to combine violence and unlikeable characters in a darkly humorous, Tarantino-like fashion but the Ice Harvest doesn't contain any of the wit or intelligence needed for this to work. What was meant to be a film noir-ish heist movie comes across as boring and worthless.

Good For: Billy Bob fans

Bad For: heist fans, those who are easily bored

The Gallery
The Economist: * *

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