Ice Soldiers (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
February 16, 2014 by Dennis Amith
“Ice Soldiers” is an action film that I can’t recommend for its storyline, nor its lackadaisical action. But there is a niche of film fans who love bad to horrible action films. So, if you are one of those people, then “Ice Soldiers” is for you.
© 2013 8002614 Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Ice Soldiers
FILM RELEASE: 2013
DURATION: 95 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio), English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Subtitles: English, English SDH
COMPANY: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
RATED: Not Rated
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Directed by Sturla Gunnarsson
Written by Jonathan Tydor
Produced by Jeff Sackman
Co-Producer: David Anselmo
Music by Jonathan Goldsmith
Cinematography by Stephen Reizes
Edited by Roger Mattiussi
Casting by Kristen Henderson
Production Design by Justin Craig
Set Decoration by Mary Kirkland
Dominic Purcell as Malraux
Adam Beach as TC Cardinal
Michael Ironside as Col. Desmond Trump
Gabriel Hogan as #1
Benz Antoine as Sgt. Joe Gibbs
Raoul Bhaneja as Bates
Carinne Leduc as Juliet
Camille Sullivan as Jane Frazer
Buried beneath the Arctic ice since the Cold War, genetically modified Soviet soldiers have been rediscovered, reactivated and are ready to unleash devastating destruction. They are cold-blooded killing machines with super-human strength and one man, a scientist who has been searching for them his entire life, will try to stop the carnage before they complete their terrifying, top-secret mission. Dominic Purcell (TV’s “Prison Break”), Michael Ironside (X-Men: First Class) and Adam Beach (Cowboys & Aliens) star in this pulse-pounding, action-packed thriller.
Sturla Gunnarsson is known for his films in Canada, from “Beowulf & Grendel”, “Rare Birds” and “Such a Long Journey” and the TV show “Degrassi: The Next Generation”, the filmmaker teams up with writer Jonathan Tydor (“Dark Angel”, “The King’s Guard”, “The Hard Truth”) for “Ice Soldiers”.
Starring Dominic Purcell (“Prison Break”, “Blade: Trinity”, “Mission: Impossible II”), Adam Beach (“Windtalkers”, “Cowboys & Aliens”), Michael Ironside (“Total Recall”, “Top Gun”, “The Machinist”) and Gabriel Hogan (“Heartland”, “Traders”, “Head in the Clouds”), “Ice Soldiers” makes its way onto Blu-ray and DVD in Feb. 2014.
“Ice Soldiers” begins in the late 1960’s as the Russians have positioned their nuclear missiles in Cuba and has given the country a chance to unleash an attack that can reach the United States.
Meanwhile, somewhere out in the Arctic, American soldiers have found three Soviet soldiers with bleach blonde hair and wearing suits are encased in ice. One which suddenly has awoken.
#1 (portrayed by Gabriel Hogan) was information that shows that he and his Russian counterparts were planning an attack in New York but somehow crash landed in the Arctic. While the three were shot with tranquilizers used for polar bears, the three are showing signs that they have been turned into some war machine and one has already murdered a few soldiers.
While #1 is bounded towards a metal wall and the other two are encased and being examined, a scientist named Juliet (portrayed by Carinne Leduc) begins examining #1 and the Russian super soldier begins eyeing her sexually.
During the night, the three super soldiers are able to escape imprisonment and begin murdering everyone in base. While #1 goes to rape Juliet and leaving her the only one alive.
Fast forward 50 years later and a scientist named Malraux (portrayed by Dominic Purcell) has joined a group that is searching for oil in the area. Led by Jane Frazer (portrayed by Camille Sullivan) and military advisers Col. Desmond Trump (portrayed by Michael Ironside) and Sgt. Joe Gibbs (portrayed by Benz Antoine), Malraux tries to show them that he is researching genetically modified Soviet soldiers which attacked the same base they are staying at 50 years ago and believes they may be alive.
The group eventually finds the three Russian super soldiers and brings them back to their camp, where the military begins running tests on the three subjects. We then learn that Malraux has a relation to the female scientist from 50 years ago and when Malraux tries to go inside the lab room to kill them the Russian soldiers and tries to prevent anyone experimenting on them (as the technology can be used to create super soldiers), he is stopped by the military and imprisoned.
But while imprisoned, a repeat of what happened 50-years ago has taken place as the Russian super soldiers escape and murders everyone. Jane Frazer is raped and killed by #1 and as for Malraux, he barely escapes due to an explosion near his cell.
But now the Russian soldiers are heavily armed and have access to vehicles and are probably now going to an area that is populated with civilians.
As Malraux goes out to search and kill the three Russian super soldiers on his own, he is too weak and injured and is about to be killed by wolves but is saved by TC Cardinal (portrayed by Adam Beach). Malraux and TC then go to a populated area where they think the Russian super soldiers may be heading to, in hopes they can stop any further bloodshed.
“Ice Soldiers” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:40:1). Picture quality for the film is very good, detail for closeups on skin and weaponry is very good, skin tones are natural and saw no signs of artifacts or banding.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Ice Soldiers” is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD MA. Dialogue and music is crystal clear. I didn’t notice a whole lot of LFE but there is good use of surround usage during the more action-intense scenes.
Subtitles are in English and English SDH.
“Ice Soldiers” comes with no special features.
“Ice Soldiers” is a B movie which you probably may catch late at night on cable network or on a sci-fi related channel.
I have to admit that I was reeled in by the thought that “Ice Soldiers” would be near the quality of the first “Universal Soldier” but what I got instead was a film with a ridiculous plot, bad acting and genetically modified Russian soldiers who start listening and bobbing their heads to hip-hop music.
First, let’s talk about the good with the film. The film does have Dominic Purcell, Adam Beach and Michael Ironside and the idea of genetically modified Russian soldiers does sound interesting.
But now the bad… the story is not well-executed.
While the opening sequence of the 1960’s and the decimation of the US soldiers and the rape of a scientist does make a good introduction as it segues to the modern storyline, the characters that you see in the film are not meant to be major characters but fodder for the genetically modified soldiers.
Here I thought there was something more to the Jane Frazer/Malraux connection but all the scenes involving Camille Sullivan’s character, Jane is wasted. Is she going to be Malraux’s love interest? Is she going to be left alive after she is raped by the Russian soldiers? There is nothing to show that she is alive, like they did with the character of Juliet in the introduction. Why bother even creating any dialogue or any emotional connection with Jane and Malraux when you are not going to even use her all that much.
Bad use of characters and if the goal was to focus on Malraux, might as well go the “Predator” route and have him and a few soldiers going after the Russian soldiers, as it would have been more appealing to show the hunt as the Russian soldiers are not seen as revolting enough, aside from #1. Want viewers to hate these soldiers, make viewers see it rather than explosions or a knife to the neck.
Instead, we get smiling bleach blonde Russian soldiers and in one of the dumbest scenes of the film, the three bobbing their heads to hip-hop music after they find a truck and really getting into the music.
While the Blu-ray does have very good picture quality and the lossless audio soundtrack is well-utilized during the action scenes, this is a barebones Blu-ray release with no special features.
Overall, “Ice Soldiers” is an action film that I can’t recommend for its storyline, nor its lackadaisical action. But there is a niche of film fans who love bad to horrible action films. So, if you are one of those people, then “Ice Soldiers” is for you.
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