Sunday, November 8, 2015

Cold Comfort

I'll admit, I just put on Iceman (2013) for a whim - It starred Donnie Yen, how bad could it be? Spoiler: Not bad at all, but kind of weird.

It starts with a truck crash, and 3 cryo-chambers break open, releasing ancient warriors Yen and two of his enemies upon modern Hong Kong. The tone is set when Yen celebrates his revival by pissing like a firehose "the full length of the parking lot." Well, he has been asleep for 300 years. So action-comedy.

Dressed as an ancient warrior, our hero strides downtown, where it is fortunately Halloween so his costume doesn't rate much attention. There he meets a drunken party girl (Shengyi Huang, dressed as an old-timey princess, natch) and falls under her wing. In the meantime, the badguy icemen are hanging out with roughnecks and kill a policeman.

So, action comedy with a distessingly cold attitude towards murder.

This odd mismatch of tone and content gave me problems throughout the movie. Maybe it reads differently to Hong Kong Chinese.

Of course, it has great wirework action sequences. The icemen are supernatural strong and talented - as Yen says, "Why are people in this time so weak?" There is also a plot, with one or two mystic McGuffins, but I think you'll be more interested in the romance with Shengyi Huang, who gets to be a strong presence, while staying resolutely ditzy and shallow. We saw her last with Jet Li in The Sorcerer and the White Snake.

I didn't mind watching this, but it is not going to do Yen's reputation much good. It seems this is a remake of The Iceman Cometh with Yuen Biao. I'm willing to watch that.

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