Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
Dateline… Cold War.  We knew the commie Ruskies were up to no good, we just didn't know how deep into the No Good they would go.  A crashed plane is found in the Arctic somewhere, the pilot is dead but there are three Aryan looking cats in metal tubes on this plane.  These dudes are some serious bad news.  One of these cats awakens and kills up a bunch of people before being disabled.  Probably should've killed him.  Then they should've killed the other two who were still in stasis, but no… they have to be studied.  Eventually the other two come around, the disabled one becomes enabled and they murder everybody at this arctic outpost… except the pretty scientist who the defacto leader of this crew of Aryan Ruskies rapes.  And off they go into the snow.  Where they were headed, who knows?

Fast forward fifty or so years where we meet MegaCorp executive Jane Frazer (Camille Sullivan) who is leading an exploratory mission up in these parts searching for what I believe is oil.  Also along is Dr. Malreaux (Dominic Purcell) who has some legitimate research that he is conducting that I think MegaCorp is simply using as a front to do their MegaCorp oil search thing, though Dr. Malraeux takes his research deadly, deadly serious.  He is looking for the remains of these men, believed to be genetically altered humans, so further research can be done on them.  This has little to do with anything in relation to this movie, but later that night Jane pays Dr. Malreaux a late night visit, I mean it's cold up there, so Jane looked like she wanted to keep warm.  Malreaux declines.  Knowing what was about to transpire, he might've wanted to take Jane up on that offer.  Not so much for himself, but for Jane since her next physical contact with a man will be less than pleasant.

Sure enough, Malreaux… who we might add is very athletic and is almost completely resistant to the cold… finds the 'remains' of the three Russian soldiers.  We say 'remains' because they are perfectly preserved and after a little dethawing… turns out these clowns are still alive.
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Well, Dr. Malreaux knows what needs to be done.  These dudes need to be put down, but unfortunately they are now the property of MegaCorp and MegaCorp thinks that there might be some profitable benefit for keeping these genetically altered murderous lunatics alive, and Dr. Malreaux needs to be restrained and imprisoned.  And if by 'Profitable Benefit' they meant everybody at this installation dies horribly, then that's what they meant.

That bit of nastiness done, the Ice Soldiers continue on the mission they started 50 years ago.  Fortunately for us, Malreaux survives and stumbles upon a Native American tracker (Adam Beach) to find these three and finally put an end to their menace.  This thing is extremely personal for Malreaux, though I don't think it's a big mystery why.  This task he has taken will not be easy because these guys are big, fast, mean and damn near invincible.  Saving grace?  They aren't very bright. 

Directed by Sturla Gunnarsson, as of this moment in time 'Ice Soldiers' has an IMDB rating of 4.1 which I think is way low, because I actually enjoyed the movie.  It's not the second coming of the Next Great Action Picture or anything of that nature, but I did think the film to be involving, competent, solid entertainment.

The story is probably a bit contrived and had they shifted the dates about twenty years or so our villains would've fit more comfortably as Nazi's than as Russian experiments, especially considering their look, but then our star would've had to be pretty darned old and I guess having a seventy year old dude climbing mountains, being lusted after by hotties and engaging in fist fights with genetically enhanced rapists would be more unbelievable than it already was. 

And about our star… I know Dominic Purcell has never been held up as the best actor around but he took wooden emotionless projection to a new level with this one.  I'm not quite sure what he was going for, but for whatever reason, that stone-faced, unemotional, stoic thing that Purcell does works more times than it doesn't, and it is functional here for whatever reason.

The things that made 'Ice Soldiers' work for me were the base concept, the connection between the character of Malreaux and these terrible soldiers he's dethawed, the cold atmosphere, a typical great performance from Michael Ironside as the hardcore Colonel leading this operation, and some solid action.  The action in 'Ice Solderis' wasn't non-stop but it was well executed and I cared enough about the characters and the story itself so that when there were down times from the action, I was still engaged with the film.

Naturally, there are some things along the lines of logic which are a little head scratching, mainly why didn't Malreaux kill these guys when he found them all frozen and stuff.  I guess we could assume he thought they were dead already… but he knows more about these guys than anybody alive on the planet Earth, so I wouldn't buy that assumption.  Stab then in the brain or shoot them right there.  Of course, then we'd have no movie, but I'm just saying is all. 

Like a said, I liked 'Ice Soldiers'.  It was a solid, entertaining time waster.  If I actually rated movies I certainly would give this one a higher score than a 4.1 which under almost any scale is a fail.  6.5, at least.  
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