Iceman (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

November 12, 2014 by  


If you are open to martial arts action, but with cheesy comedy and situations that come out of left field for no apparent reason, then definitely give “Iceman” a shot!

Images courtesy of © 2014 Zhongmeng Century (BEIJING) Investment Co. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Iceman


DURATION: 105 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (16:9 widescreen), Cantonese, English, Spanish and French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

COMPANY: Well Go USA Entertainment

RATED: R (Some violence and Language and Sexual Reference)

Release Date: November 11, 2014

Directed by Wing-cheong Law

Written by Fung Lam, Mark Wu

Produced by Jianxin Huang, Christopher Sun Lap, Donnie Yen

Music by Ying-Wah Wong

Cinematography by Yuen Man Fung, Kenny Tse

Edited by Matthew Hui, David M. Richardson


Donnie Yen as He Ying

Wang Baoqiang  as Sao

Huang Shengyi  as May

Yu Kang as San Ko

Simon Yam as Cheung

Lam Suet as Tang

Donnie Yen is a Ming Dynasty palace guard, wrongly accused of murder and hunted by three vengeful brothers. All four are accidentally buried, frozen at the height of battle. 400 years later, they are defrosted and resume their mortal struggle while also adjusting to modern-day life.


Actor Donnie Yen (“Ip Man”, “Hero”, “Blade II”, “Iron Monkey”) is no doubt one of the most popular actors from China.

Having had a successful career that dates back to 1984, he continues to be one of the box office stars for action films and has able to work on films that range from drama, comedy and action.

And now Donnie Yen collaborates with director Wing-cheong Law (“Election”, “Running on Karma”, “Triad Election”) in an action adventure in 3D that is a loose adaptation of Yuen Biao’s 1999 film (with the same title).

And now “Iceman” is available on Blu-ray courtesy of Well Go USA Entertainment.

“Iceman” is a film that stars Donnie Yen as He Ying, a bodyguard of the Ming Emperor who has traveled long and far to bring back a mysterious disc that would allow a person to time travel.  Unfortunately, upon his return, he is setup and framed for colluding with Japanese pirates and he and his family is sentenced to death.  While trying to escape from Sao (portrayed by Wang Baoqiang) and Niehu (portrayed by Yu Kang), all three men were buried and frozen in time for 400 years.  As a vehicle accident leads to their life pods being opened, He Ying finds himself in modern day Hong Kong.  But while he is able to roam around Hong Kong, so are the others who have awakened and are now finally set free.

While confused to see his homeland changed, he eventually is taken in by a drunken May (portrayed by Huang Shengyi) into her home during Halloween.  Thinking he is costuming as a royal guard, when she wakes up, she and her friends are scared by He Ying and leave her to handle him.

Sao and Niehu end up searching for He Ying and end up being assisted by Indian thieves (who Sao rescues from police) who entice them with curry chicken and curry fishballs.  Because Sao and Niehu shot and killed police officers, they become wanted by police officer, Cheung (portrayed by Simon Yam).  But why does Cheung want to catch these three so badly and how is it that he knows about these individuals?

Meanwhile, May tries to show He Ying around but also trying to get him to trade his gold in for money, money that she is using He Ying for, but only to help her sick mother.  But seeing the good in He Ying, will she try to help him or will she continue to use him?



“Iceman” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:39:1 aspect ratio). Picture quality shows vibrant colors, clarity and also wonderful lighting, considering many scenes are shot outdoors.    The CG for the most part worked well with the film and there are moments that you can tell, were made for 3D as certain objects come flying out toward the screen.  It’s important to note that the film was only released in the United States as a normal Blu-ray release, not in 3D.

I didn’t see any artifacts nor major banding during my viewing of the film.  If anything, “Iceman” looks great!


“Iceman” is presented in Cantonese 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English, Spanish and French Dub.  Dialogue is crystal clear and there are a good number of action scenes that utilized the surround channels and also crowd ambiance.

Subtiltes are in English, Spanish and French.


“Iceman” comes with the following special features:

  • Making Of – (20:13) Featuring the making of the Rooftop Building scene, Disco Scene, Lok on Pai, Tuen Mai, Hong Kong, the production and interviews with Donnie Yen, Wang Baoqiang and Eva Huang.
  • Trailer – (1:42) Featuring the theatrical trailer for “Iceman”.


“Iceman” comes with a slipcover.


Lately, Donnie Yen has been taking on films that showcase martial arts action but also comedy.

Which is not bad as he is currently the most marketable action star in East Asia and he is able to take on a variety roles and no doubt, making a lot of money at it!  It’s a plan that has worked for Jackie Chan and if you have that marketability, take advantage of it.

But it can also be a catch-22 for some talent, especially for a role such as “Iceman” as Donnie Yen sports a wig with longer locks, taking one of the most powerful piss in an action film and it can often be a stretch, when you pair the much older Donnie Yen with younger actress Eva Huang.

And as this film is is an action comedy, while others may dislike the crazy humor of the film, I have watched enough films from Hong Kong and East Asia to tolerate the most craziest of films and “Iceman” is a crazy film.

Like a page out of “Captain America” with a twist, Donnie Yen plays a royal guard named He Ying.  A protector who is trying to give the Ming Emperor the opportunity to time travel but somehow gets caught up in an act of betrayal by his childhood friend.

He and his former friends/soldiers have all awakened from a very long slumber.  But as He Ying tries to learn more about modern day Hong Kong, he is under pursuit by his former friends, Sao (played by Wang Baoqiang) and Niehu (portrayed by Yu Kang).

He eventually is taken in by a beautiful, drunk hostess named May (portrayed by Huang Shengyi) who feels that she can manipulate and use him for money.

While there are those who will enjoy the action, which can get wild at times, part of the problem is you are taken out by the comedy.  While, Wang Baoqiang is an actor that I expect to see in a comedy (after seeing his hilarious performance in “Lost in Thailand”) and his emphasis on the pronunciation of “Curry Chicken” or “Curry Fish Balls” for comedy sake is quite funny.  The scene where he tries to help May’s mother just seems out of place and you also get a few potty/fart humor as well, so, this was not something I expected to see in a Donnie Yen film.  So, I found myself being surprised to see Donnie Yen, in this type of film.

And while the CG special effects are very fascinating to watch and no doubt reminiscent in terms of the chaotic nature of films such as modern “Planet of the Apes” or “Godzilla” in their “bridge” scene sequences, “Iceman” tries to entertain with over-the-top Michael Bay-like action sequence on a bridge.  While the fight choreography was cool to watch, there is certain editing choices that were questionable.

But I enjoyed the film because it was a Donnie Yen film that was out of left field.  This is a film that you would not expect to see him doing but because of his dedication to trying different things and in this case, a 3D action comedy, it worked out.

His chemistry with actress Huang Shengyi worked very well and it made you wonder if we were going to see Donnie Yen cross that line and have a kissing scene with his leading lady.  But of course, it’s a Donnie Yen film, so that is not going to happen.

Picture quality for the film is really good.  There was no doubt a lot of CG work done but you can also tell why this film went over-budget.  So many chaotic scenes that you would typically see in a big budget film, add in wonderful costume design, while the lossless soundtrack was crystal clear with a lot of emphasis in the action sequences.  You also get a few special features such as the making of, interviews with the cast and a theatrical trailer.

While “Iceman 3D” was definitely a film I was not expecting, it shows that Donnie Yen is still wanting to show that he’s more than just an action star and can do comedy.  But also an actor who wants to be in the forefront of film technology by taking part in a popcorn action film shown in theaters in 3D (unfortunately, the Blu-ray is not!).

While the film does tease a sequel, because of the cost to make this film and the major delays to get this film completed, it’s hard to say if there will be a sequel at all.  But if it happens, I’m definitely interested in seeing it!

If you are open to martial arts action, but with cheesy comedy and situations that come out of left field for no apparent reason, then definitely give “Iceman” a shot!

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