The Ice Harvest Reviews
"'Twas the night before Christmas"
The Ice Harvest is a good little, dark comedy-thriller that has more than just shades of Fargo all over it. This was a fun movie for me. I loved the story and I liked John Cusack as the lead and the supporting cast just helped add more to the whole film experience. I fail to see why this has been so negatively reviewed. Maybe people expected something different, maybe people think it is just a rip-off, but in my mind, this is a worthwhile and really fun movie that doesn't take itself to seriously, but also doesn't give itself completely over to ridiculousness.
Charlie Arglist is a mob lawyer in Wichita, Kansas. It's Christmas Eve and the bad freezing rain is expected to fall all night. Charlie and his friend Vic have just embezzled $2 million from the local mob and now they're just waiting out the rain so they can get out of town. Crimes such as this normally don't go unknown though and soon after successfully getting the money, Charlie begins to think that the mob is looking for him and Vic.
While this isn't wholly original, it's a fun movie that I enjoyed. Every second was entertaining and there is suspense around every corner. I don't understand how so many people could think this was boring. That seems like the one thing it isn't. The movie is dark, funny, wacky, silly, exciting, fun, and suspenseful. Boring is the one thing that never came to my mind while watching The Ice Harvest. So give it a look if you get a chance.
There are some similarities between this and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, but I think thos one's much better, mostly because it's played steaight and not giving a wink to the audience. For that reason, the tension seems to work better, and the audience is more drawn into things.
None of the characters are really all that likeable, but that's probably the point, and it's definitely to the credit of all t he actors, too. Cusack is fun, and Thornton is great at playing down tright mean guys you don't want to mess with, but For me, the real highlight was Oliver Platt. He's a real scene stealer here, and just a hoot to watch. Connie Nielsen is great as the classic femme fatale, and I love the fact that she looks different with each role she plays, and is able to make you forget that she's European. Mike Starr is also a joy.
This isn't for all tastes, and it's really a bitter, dark film even though it's also quite hilarious, so, only see it if you think you'll enjoy this type of thing.
DIRECTED BY: Harold Ramis
It's Christmas Eve in rainy, icebound Wichita, Kansas, and this year Charlie Arglist just might have something to celebrate. Charlie, an attorney for the sleazy businesses of Wichita, and his unsavory associate, the steely Vic Cavenaugh, have just successfully embezzled $2,147,000 from Kansas City boss Bill Guerrard. Even so, the real prize for Charlie would be the stunning Renata, who runs the Sweet Cage strip club. Charlie's fondest Christmas wish is to slip out of town with Renata. But, as daylight fades and a storm whirls, everyone from Charlie's drinking buddy Pete Van Heuten to the local police begin to wonder just what exactly is in Charlie's Christmas stocking. For Charlie, the 12 hours of Christmas Eve are filled with nonstop twists and turns, both on the ice and off.
It's a fun dark comedy. John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton are really good together. Would have liked it if Billy Bob was in it a bit more. It was more amusing when him and Cusack are great together and funnier. I also enjoyed Oliver Platt, he was hilarious on his own. Just a funny comedy that will keep you entertained for about an hour and a half.
Its boring and doesnt answer a lot of questions to be honest i felt confused at the end!
Not really worth a watch!
A movie where the ads cannot do it justice. It's a dark comedy, with almost no sympathetic characters. Despite it being a comedy to it's main extent, there are a lot of neo-noir elements to this movie, main examples including the femme fetale played by Connie Nielson and the twisty dark nature of the whole thing.
Vic: Well? How'd it go?
Charlie Arglist: Good. Went good.
Vic: How much?
Charlie Arglist: A lot.
Vic: Am I gonna have to slap the shit outta you? How much?
Charlie Arglist: Vic, it's a great, big, fuckin' pile of money: two-million - one-hundred - forty-seven-thousand dollars and change. My God, we're actually doing this.
Vic: No, we're not doing it. It's already done.
The story takes place on Christmas Eve. An attorney for the mob, Cusack, and his sleazy partner in crime, Thorton, have just stolen a large sum of money from a crime boss, and must now survive the night before they leave their lame lives in Kansas forever.
We follow Cusack's character throughout the film, where he must deal with strip club bartenders, his favorite girl, the harsh weather, his drunken ex-wife's husband, and any hit men he may come across.
Charlie Arglist: Pete, I know you're not asking for my advice, but listen... you should really shut the fuck up.
The story is fairly predictable, but it's more about how these characters go about their business, which is what I enjoyed.
John Cusack is always welcome, here playing a character similar but dimmer than in The Grifters. Billy Bob Thorton does his thing, and does it good, despite having only a few scenes. I found him to be very good particularly in the last scenes he appears in. However, the best work comes from Oliver Platt who steals most of the movie, playing drunk, sad, and asshole all at the same time, and it works.
Pete Van Heuten: [waking up in back of Charlie's car] Ugh... Where are we?
Charlie Arglist: We're in heaven, Pete.
Pete Van Heuten: Oh... They got pancakes?
Charlie Arglist: They got everything.
Pete Van Heuten: Good.
Harold Ramis of all people directed this film and tries his hardest to balance the tone of this film. Its tricky due to how dark this movie really is, despite having its humorous moments.
By the end you can certainly feel a bit exhausted after the twists have ensued and blood has been spilled, but I enjoyed the flick. It has good performances and supplies a good Christmas movie to watch that doesn't involve so much joy.
Charlie: As Wichita falls... so falls Wichita Falls.
Cusack plays a lawyer who steals $2 million with his partner, but soon finds a mob enforcer on his tail and a host of other mishaps befalling his would-be getaway. It's sad that Cusack is kinda slumming it for this one, as normally Cusack + crime comedy = cinematic manna from heaven (see the sublime Grosse Pointe Blank), but as a noir it lacks sparkling dialogue, and as a comedy its not all that funny. In fact, that's really the big distinction between this film and its superior forebears such as the Grifters and Fargo; that where those films (and other 90s crime capers) married styles perfectly, here each scene seems to alternately wildly between strong violence, humour, proper noir and so forth.
Still, the movie has its moments, such as banter with a guy trapped in a foot-locker, Oliver Platt giving 110% as our anti-hero's drunken oafish friend, and Randy Quaid is rather effective as the third-act heavy.
But against this the picture has an idiotic 'allow-me-to-spell-out-my-plan-oh-shit-he's-got-me-whilst-I-was-waffling' moment, and Connie Nielsen has just a 2D rendering of a femme fatale. Add to this tons of plot twists and a random unexplained message and you're left with an OK film, but a pale imitator of a great.