ASIAN FILM - Review
12:00 - 22nd October 2015, by NEO Staff

Iceman

A 16th century warrior is awoken in a modern day metropolis, determined to end the centuries-old feud that continues to haunt him. Think you might have heard this one before? Well, you probably have. Iceman, the 3D blockbuster extravaganza from Donnie Yen and director Law Wing-Cheong, is the first instalment in a two-part remake of the 1989 Yuen Biao film The Iceman Cometh, which was itself a thinly-veiled tribute to ‘80s sci-fi classic Highlander.

Unfortunately, the story’s most recent incarnation lacks both the coherence and the charm of its predecessors. What was once a simple but entertaining ‘fish-out-of-water’ comedy (with a couple of excellently-choreographed fight scenes to boot) has become a confusing, badly-structured mess, littered with dodgy CGI, and sadly lacking the martial arts sequences for which Yen earned his reputation.

Given the widely-reported difficulties that the film ran into during its fraught production (costing twice its original $100million budget) it wasn’t a surprise to many when Iceman turned out to be the overwrought mess that eventually hit cinemas. Its woes are written into every corny shot, every mistimed flashback, and every bad joke.
Crude humour comes as standard (including one particularly unpleasant toilet sequence), as does broad racial stereotyping and agonizingly bad dubbing. Thankfully, there are occasional moments when the movie manages to elicit a genuine laugh or two. Not necessarily in the right places, but beggars can’t be choosers.

A disappointing, uneven remake that doesn’t do justice to the talent involved. Part two will need to up its game.
SCORE: 2.5/5
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