Tag Archives: Benjamin Walker

The Ice Road (2021) Review

THE ICE ROAD

The Ice Road

Time: 109 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence & offensive language
Cast:
Liam Neeson as Mike McCann
Laurence Fishburne as Jim Goldenrod
Benjamin Walker as Tom Varnay
Amber Midthunder as Tantoo
Marcus Thomas as Gurty
Holt McCallany as René Lampard
Martin Sensmeier as Miner Cody
Matt McCoy as General Manager Sickle
Matt Salinger as CEO Thomason
Director: Jonathan Hensleigh

After a remote diamond mine collapses in the far northern regions of Canada, an ice driver (Liam Neeson) leads an implausible rescue mission over a frozen ocean to save the lives of trapped miners despite thawing waters and a threat they never see coming.

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I wasn’t expecting a whole lot from The Ice Road, from the looks of the trailer, it was going to be yet another Liam Neeson action flick, this time being set on the ice. That’s pretty much what we got with this movie, and I thought that it was entertaining enough for what it was.

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The premise seemed somewhat original, the plot started off interesting enough with it being about ice truckers travelling over a giant ice road to deliver equipment to save a bunch of miners. Unfortunately, it eventually adds this corporate conspiracy and espionage aspect which really cheapens the whole thing and makes the movie worse. It makes the plot more complicated and makes everything more cliched and by the numbers. It really would’ve worked much better if it was just about the truckers trying to save the people stuck in the mine incident and ditched the corporate aspect. The writing itself is very formulaic and offers very few surprises, even if you haven’t seen it in this exact form before, you have seen this type of story many times before. It’s very forgettable, bland and cliched. The dialogue itself is very expositional, and mostly just ends up stating the obvious. The Ice Road to a degree feels like it harkens back to cheesy 90s action movies, unfortunately it doesn’t really have the self awareness that those movies have, so it makes the dud reveals and plot points harder to look past. The movie is also overlong and overstays its welcome a bit, it doesn’t help that much of the second half gets quite repetitive. However I can’t deny that I still had fun with the movie. If you ignore the conspiracy aspect (which is a big part), the plot is otherwise straightforward enough that you can still be entertained by.

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The acting for the most part is okay. Liam Neeson plays the same sort of character as expected, but he’s good in this kind of role. There are two interesting things about this variation of this archetype though. For one, instead of being an ex-cop, CIA agent or hitman, his special skills relate to him being really good as an ice trucker, so that’s a new spin on it. The second thing is that he does get more opportunities to showcase emotion compared to the other Neeson action roles, with him trying to balance a relationship with his brother who has PTSD throughout this whole mission. I do admire the attempts at character development between them, and some of it works. However this relationship isn’t explored all that much, and even the PTSD aspect doesn’t really add a whole lot. In fact, not much is explored outside of the lead character, especially when it comes to every other character. The human villains are all completely forgettable and boring except for one henchman character, and the rest of the supporting cast is underutilised, even Laurence Fishburne doesn’t get to do as much as you might hope he would.

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This is the first movie I’ve seen from director Jonathan Hensleigh, and I thought his work here is rather mixed. On one hand I really liked the icy setting the movie takes place in throughout, there are some good truck chase scenes, and some action scenes have some tension to them. It was also quite good when it came to the tension of the main characters driving very heavy trucks over ice which could easily crack. On the other hand, there isn’t any particular set piece that I can point to as a standout (they all blur together), the fight scenes are very by the numbers, and despite some good stunts, the film somehow feels quite cheap. The CGI is some of the worst I’ve seen from a recent action movie, at best looking like it is coming from the 90s. Despite the issues, the action is good enough that it makes for an enjoyable experience when watching it for the first time.

THE ICE ROAD

The Ice Road is another forgettable but passable action flick starring Liam Neeson. While there’s issues with the writing, characters and directing, the action and mostly straightforward plot makes it entertaining enough. If you like some of Neeson’s other action movies, you’ll probably enjoy watching this one too.

Jessica Jones Season 3 (2019) Review

Age Rating: 860949[1]
Cast:
Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones
Rachael Taylor as Patricia “Trish” Walker
Eka Darville as Malcolm Ducasse
Benjamin Walker as Erik Gelden
Sarita Choudhury as Kith Lyonne
Jeremy Bobb as Gregory Salinger
Tiffany Mack as Zaya Okonjo
Carrie-Anne Moss as Jeri Hogarth
Creator: Melissa Rosenberg

When Jessica (Krysten Ritter) crosses paths with a highly intelligent psychopath, she and Trish (Rachael Taylor) must repair their fractured relationship and team up to take him down. But a devastating loss reveals their conflicting ideas of heroism, and sets them on a collision course that will forever change them both.

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I’m aware I’m a little late to releasing my review of Season 3, I did start writing it soon after finishing this season, it just took me a while to get around to finish writing it, I liked the first Season of Jessica Jones, it’s among the best seasons of Marvel’s Netflix shows. On the other hand, Season 2 was unfortunately one of the weakest of the seasons. I liked it a little more than some people, but it was quite disappointing and it could’ve been way better. The show’s third and final season felt like a weird note to leave the whole Netflix Marvel series on, but I remained cautiously optimistic going into it. In comparison to many of the other Netflix Marvel series, it still remains one of the weaker seasons. With that said, it’s definitely better than the second season and is actually pretty decent, despite a few not so great aspects.

In the second season, one of the problems was that it felt like a bunch of unrelated plotlines thrown together, and most of those plotlines were a mixed bag. Although it did sort of have a main plotline, a lot of the others didn’t really fit in with it at all and it was a bit of a mess. Not all the plotlines of season 3 are connected together but they are at least much more relevant to each other this time. Carrie Anne Moss’s storyline was similar as the previous season, performance was good but the story itself was iffy. It’s really the only storyline somewhat disconnected from the other plotlines. The main plotlines are Jessica hunting down a serial killer, as well as Trish’s storyline with her becoming a superhero/vigilante. The storyline with the serial killer was fine enough, however the killer himself wasn’t compelling at all, which kind of a let down. Particularly after Kilgrave, for the most part it just felt like a typical case that Jessica would take on. If you read my Season 2 review, you could probably tell that the biggest worry I had about this season was Trish’s plotline. It was very difficult to like her in that storyline, and I really hoped that this season would at least not fully treat her as the hero that she’s in the comics, because it didn’t really fit what she was in the show. It didn’t necessarily start off great, after a cliffhanger of an ending with episode 1, the entirety of episode 2 is dedicated to Trish. While I appreciate giving her the time and focus, the pacing really grinds to a halt. After that episode however, it picked up, and without spoiling anything I think they handled that story mostly well. With this season also being 13 episodes long, it does have its moments where it feels drawn out, but it’s mostly okay. In a way, the season did sort of successfully end, however there are a few small things that aren’t fully resolved, which was honestly a bit confusing considering that they were filming fully aware that this was going to be the final season. With all that being said, it’s not like Luke Cage or Iron Fist situation where they ended on a cliffhanger clearly assuming that they’d get another season to continue the story.

Krysten Ritter is effortlessly great as Jessica Jones, she’s still one of the best parts of every season and always delivers. Something I noticed about reactions to this season is that some people didn’t like that Jessica was teaming up with other people, but I was fine with it. Jessica has been developing over time, so it makes sense that she would get help from others in some cases, especially compared to how she was in the first season. Rachael Taylor as Trish Walker gets a pretty big part with her having one of the main plotlines of this season. As I said earlier, she was handled better than I expected. Trish’s attempts at becoming a hero at least shows the issues that come with it. There was an acknowledgement that she obviously had some problems, but at points you can see why she would do the things she does, they aren’t necessarily out of character decisions. With that said, I’ll just say that if you’re a fan of Hellcat/Trish from the comics, you may not like the direction that they go in with her here, very different interpretation. Also the contrast between her and Jessica worked, especially when it came to the whole idea of ‘being a hero’, which is really what this season is about. The pairing and dynamic between the two of them over the course of the season was one of the highlights.

Eka Darville’s character of Malcolm Ducasse has clearly made a big change since the last season, with him now working for Hogarth, he’s had to do a bunch of morally questionable things and by the time of season 3 he’s almost a completely different person. He fit into the story well. Benjamin Walker plays a person who had superpowers, coming across Jessica early on the season and plays a frequent role in the season. With him, I liked the expansion of super powered people in this show, with the exception of Trish, the only time we saw a superpowered character in Jessica Jones was that one fast guy in the second season. At this point, I have a feeling that they kept giving Jeri Hogarth her own plotlines in the seasons because Carrie Anne Moss just acts really well, and while I’m pretty sure her storyline this season was one of the less interesting parts, she does make it watchable. Now the main villain of this season is Jeremy Bobb as a serial killer named Gregory Salinger. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that he’s bad, but he’s really a typical serial killer that you might see in crime/thriller tv shows, in Jessica Jones for the most part he doesn’t leave that much of an impact. The first season had Kilgrave as almost a serial killer type character but he was charismatic, interesting and entertaining to watch. If you were to call Alisa Jones a villain in Season 2, she has some ties to Jessica that made you actually have a reason to at least pay attention to what’s happening with her character. Salinger is just a run of the mill killer, there’s not really anything special about him. At a point pretty early on, he becomes more of a nuisance more than anything. Towards his last episodes he improves slightly and even has some impactful moments, but it’s too little too late. Not to mention by the end he ends up more like a plot device than an actual character. Bobb definitely does the best he can, playing him creepy, but that’s really it.

The direction was generally good, directed in a very similar way that the previous seasons were. It again didn’t overdo it with the action, and the superpowers on display were handled quite well, with both Jessica and Trish.

Jessica Jones Season 3 was a relatively decent season, despite some issues that I had. The cast are generally good, I liked most of the plotlines, and it was an okay way to end the season, even though I do have a few questions leaving it. As an ending to the entire Netflix Marvel series, it didn’t seem to resolve everything, but I’m glad it was an decent end to its own series. It’s at least better than the second season. So if you liked Season 1 of the show at least, give it a watch, even if you disliked the second season.