Iceman (2014)

Posted in Reviews by - December 05, 2014
Iceman (2014)

Crass remake of the 1989 Hong Kong action fantasy The Iceman Cometh, itself a riff on the Highlander premise. The film’s 3D elements are particularly tedious with all manner of detritus being thrown in the viewer’s face, including, during one particularly apt scene, a toilet full of human feces. The CGI looks hideous but is abominably awful during a climactic weapons duel which would take some talent to look any worse. If the original film hadn’t been such a faultless charmer then perhaps this juvenile by-product may have scraped by without reproach. But as it is, we are inevitably forced to draw comparison. The fantastical story has been mangled into confusion (an alarming total of 15 producers and nine executive producers will do that), and it fritters carelessly and often distastefully from present day farce to Ming Dynasty hokum to bent cop thriller. The central conceit of an ancient Chinese feud being played out in modern day Hong Kong is still at the core of the film, with Donnie Yen taking on the Yuen Biao role as one of the Emperor’s defrosted soldiers who wakes up 400 years later to find himself in a very different world. Eva Huang is unfortunately placed to tackle Maggie Cheung’s formidable presence as the hooker with a heart, but is treated as the sort of two-bit female distraction who would wear stilettos and hot pants to visit her dying mother in a care home. The chauvinism on display here is really quite something. Simon Yam plays the villain – brilliant as always – but it is strange for such a painfully Zeitgeist film to be so reliant on leading men in their 50s. The film proves it’s not only Hollywood who can turn an 80s favourite into an absolute stinker.

AKA: The Frozen Hero; Iceman 3D

This post was written by
Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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