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  • The Ice Harvest
    • The Ice Harvest
    • Runtime:92 min
    • Release Date:2017-01-22 19:26:17
    • Director: Harold Ramis
    • Genres: Comedy, Crime, Drama, Thriller
    • Studio:
MOVIE REVIEW:The Ice Harvest


Those looking for another "Grosse Pointe Blank" may be disappointed.
This straightforward film noir stars Cusack as a slightly
slow-on-the-uptake lawyer who with a partner (Thornton) makes off with
$2 million in ill-gotten gains. Only they can't seem to get very far
with it. Nielsen plays a classic femme fatale, the incredibly sexy but
scheming owner of a nightclub who professes to love Cusack's nebbishy
lawyer and claims to be ready to make off with him and the loot. She
plays the part in a very similar manner to Kathleen Turner's femme
fatale in "Body Heat," which I believe was intentional. You will not
however find much dark comedy here, although there is the occasional
comedic line. The film apparently proved lackluster at the box office,
and I believe this is because folks were looking for another black
comedy like "Grosse Pointe Blank," which for my money is Cusack's
all-time masterpiece. Cusack and Nielsen are fine, but there's not much
to root for here. And what transpires is fairly predictable. Watch for
Randy Quaid as one of the bad guys and Oliver Platt as Cusack's drunken
best friend.


It used to be we could rely on comedies to make us laugh comfortably
throughout a movie – like Peter Sellers as Chief Inspector Clouseau.
Nowadays, comedies are "black", i.e. comedy that employs morbid,
gloomy, and grotesque situations in its plot.

If you're the type of person who finds the pairing of violence and
funny lines acceptable, then watch Ice Harvest. If you find murder and
drownings coupled with a funny remark inappropriate, then ignore Russo
and Benton's "black farce" in which the plot depends upon exploited
situations rather than upon the development of character. Because in
real life how funny is it to shove someone's dead wife into icy waters
along with her drowning husband?

It appears that John Cusack is getting into the habit of picking movies
that don't accentuate his positives. Be-that-as-it-may, he plays
Wichita Kansas mob lawyer, Charlie Arglist,who steals over 2 million
dollars from his boss, played by Randy Quaid. Charlie enlists his
friend "Vic" (Billy Bob Thornton) to hold the money. An ice storm keeps
them at bay – yet to this viewer it looks like hardly any ice or snow
is on the streets. As far as the rest of the plot, the little baby
twists and turns in Ice Harvest are sophomoric.

On the plus-side, Oliver Platt, who plays Charlie's buddy, Pete,
applies admirable comedic timing. The negative – Connie Nielsen, who
plays strip club owner Renata. She sounds too much like a Kathleen
Turner wannabe; which is distracting to her character.

One problem I had was when Sydney tells Charlie that his mother failed
to report there was no gas in the RV before giving it to him. Doesn't
Sydney check gas gauges? Especially before piling the kids in for a
long road-trip?

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