Icebreaker - 6th April 2011

From the pitch meeting, which must've gone something like 'It's Die Hard... er... but on a ski slope... with Sean Astin' to the use of Beethoven's Ode to Joy over the opening credits you get the hint pretty early on that this is going to a be a fairly heavy rip off of almost every terrorist/action movie cliche in the book, only, of course, on a ski slope but that's ok because you only bought, rented or watched the damn thing because Bruce Campbell is in it, right?

At first, second and even third looks you might be scratching your head and saying to yourself, how in the name of Robert Davi's pock marks did this atrocious, hack D-list director manage to get Bruce Campbell, Sean Astin and Stacey Keach in this piece of ludicrous nonsense huh? You might also wonder how, considering this was pre-Lord of the Rings (but only just), Astin still comes away with top billing?
Well I don't know the answer to either of those questions any more than I know how you manage to get funding for a film like this in the first place, still there is precedent, at least for the main two actors. Campbell played a similar talky, arch villain in the instantly forgettable and utterly shonky 'Chase Moran: Assault on Dome 4' and Sean Astin had played a cocky yet dependable hero in the underestimated gem 'Toy Soldiers'.
The only thing Campbell has ever said on the subject is that he was offered the hero part but took the villain role as it got all the best lines, boy is that an understatement, poor Astin hardly gets any lines and does very little in the way of action too, unless you consider skiing action.

Ok, now let's play "Weird B Movie link ups", shall we?
The world of B-Movies, independent film and straight-to-video genre fair is a fairly incestuous world by all accounts, with the likes of Bruce Campbell, Jeffrey Combs, Andrew Divoff, Robert Davi, Joan Severance and Corbin Bernstein, to name a few, forging whole careers out of the second tier, often non-theatrical world.
Well, let's see how the cast of Icebreaker do then. Bruce Campbell starred in Brisco County Jnr with Sean Astin's Dad, Campbell would go on to star with Keach again in Man with a Screaming Brain and both Bruce and Suzanne Turner (the female lead of Icebreaker) had appeared as guest stars in Weird Science the TV Show. Admittedly that last one was a bit weak but, you know, it's fun to find this stuff out.

So the film itself is pretty awful and in parts thinks that it's funnier than it actually is, for example by having the highly effeminate ineffectual head of the slope first send holidaying normal folk into a blind panic, by announcing point blank at a press conference that their our terrorists about to blow up a mountain, and then later turning into a gun toting, quip making nutcase.
In fact you're not sure, watching the ridiculous performances of all concerned, whether the director was trying to make a straight faced normal movie but was plagued with hammy acting and a bad script or if he went out of his way to make a tongue in cheek pile of laughable dung and the hammy acting and bad script were intentional.
Seeing as all the name actors have been far better in other things I would maybe consider the latter but whatever the intentions that's definitely the way to watch this movie: Get a group of friends round, keep the alcohol flowing and laugh your way through this very flimsy excuse of a movie or watch it to see Bruce Campbell with a shaved head come very close to majorly embarrassing himself (no mean feat!) by seemingly strain to maintain seriousness in the face of some truly atrocious lines.
The third option, of course, is probably the best advice, unless you're a hardcore Bruce Campbell fan, don't watch it.

3 out of 10 still frozen salad drizzled in weak sauce.
Points from the Wife - 4 out of 10.

Army of Darkness - 8th April 2011

Paul - 27th March 2011