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I had passed an eye over this video sitting on the shelf at the local
store several times. Although I consider myself to be a Michael Caine fan,
neglected to ever rent BLUE ICE, because of poor reviews and ratings. The
other day however I was once again at the video store and this time
to check out this film.
I was extremely surprised (in a good way) at BLUE ICE. I wasn't expecting
to be as good as it was. The plot was a little bit hard to swallow, but
spy movies are like that. I thought the cinematography was wonderful and I
especially like the intriguing, yet bizarre torture scene montage.
Michael Caine played an ex-spy and despite his age and not being in great shape, Sir Michael pulled off a wonderful performance. The movie was so interesting (though confusing at parts) I can honestly say that I wasn't bored for a minute. Sean Young's performance wasn't too impressing, but luckily it wasn't so terrible that it deterred my interest in the movie. Ian Holm and Bob Hoskins some good scenes, but I wish that their parts were bigger.
BLUE ICE isn't Michael Caine's best movie, but God knows, it's not his worst either. All-in-all I give BLUE ICE 3 ½ out of 5.
Here's another film that one might label a neo-noir. It's film noir in
story, attitude and camera-work but it's color and it's a 1992 film,
not one from the late 1940s or early '50s.
The story is set in England and is a good mixture of suspense, action and romance. It's nicely filmed with a lot of night shots featuring some cool neon signs of London streets and pubs. Looks-wise, this film reminded me a lot of "Stormy Monday."
There is some good jazz in here, too. The action picks up much more in the second half of the film, capped off by a unique huge transformer-like vehicle chasing Michael Caine. The ending was a bit weak and hokey but overall, the film was entertaining and good stuff if you're a noir buff.
I try to be respectful of others opinions as everyone is entitled to
one, but, as an actor and a producer who has been the recipient of
ignorant comments, I have to respond to some of the comments regarding
BLUE ICE. For the person who chastises Michal Cain for doing this
picture and suggesting he did it for the pay check, It was his company
that produced it. It was supposed to be the first in a line of
quarterly pictures for TV with the same character. His partner died and
that ended that.
Regarding Bob Hoskins small role...he and Caine have been lifelong friends and this is just one more of a number of pictures they have done together and to suggest that Hoskins has "ruined" his career is just ludicrous.The man continues to turn in outstanding performances in A-list films and top of the line independents. See MRS. HENDERSON PRESNETS.
The name "Harry" is a staple of Noir through both film, novels and TV-to wit "Harry O" on TV with David Janson in the 70's. "Harry" in Heminghway's TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT, and yes, the "Harry Palmer" stories of Len Deighton but that does not mean BLUE ICE is a rip off of those stories. And to suggest that Michal Caine does not do well in action films is ridiculous. See ZULU, BATTLE OF BRITIAN, A BRIDGE TO FAR, and a host of others.
I found BLUE ICE to be intelligent, well done, well acted picture with a good script. I do agree that the ending is not up to snuff but the rest of the film, especially the "Jazz" sections, is not something one sees often and it added a measure of quality to the picture.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
From director Russell (Highlander) Mulcahy comes a thriller that
reminds one of a throwback to the spy flicks of yesteryear. With
Michael Caine in the leading role, and a supporting gallery that
contains the likes of Ian Holm, Bob Hoskins, Alun Armstrong and Sean
Young, you'd be right to expect something quite good of Blue Ice. But
sadly the movie emerges a dispirited and bewildering mish-mash of
action, sex and violence that is quite unworthy of the talents
involved. Caine and famous producer Martin Bregman set up their own
production company to finance this film, calling it M&M Productions
the idea was to start a series of films featuring the Harry Anders
character. The critical and commercial indifference that met Blue Ice
meant that no sequels were made, and the production company never
released another film. (Which tells you all you need to know!)
Ex-secret agent Harry Anders (Michael Caine) now runs a jazz club in London. One day he is involved in a minor car accident with sexy Stacy Mansdorf (Sean Young), wife of the American Ambassador. The two of them hit it off and soon embark on a passionate affair, with the older Harry finding himself falling uncommonly hard for this sizzling young temptress. Stacy learns about Harry's past life as a secret agent, and begs him to help her with a problem she has. Seems a former lover of hers is threatening to ruin her reputation, and she thinks Harry might be able to straighten him out. But the seemingly innocuous job is riddled with danger, and before long Harry find himself up to his neck in betrayal, murder and international arms dealings. The trail leads to Harry's old MI6 boss, Sir Hector (Ian Holm), and as the bodies start piling up the aging hero finds himself once more playing the sort of deadly cloak-and-dagger game he thought he'd left behind for good .
Mulcahy throws in his usual visual flourishes (he was formerly a music video director), but no amount of fancy camera angles and moody lighting can disguise the lack of a coherent plot. Caine lends the hero an air of self-humouring charm, but it's not really one of his finest roles simply because the haphazard script doesn't allow for the development of a memorable character. The sex scenes are unintentionally funny 59 year old Caine looks somewhat out-of-shape, yet the camera glides slowly, lovingly over his body while he is locked in a naked embrace with Young. One can't really blame the actor; it's more the fault of the director and editor for thinking (unwisely) that they can bring geriatric sex appeal to these scenes. There are flashes of competent action throughout the film explosions, gunfights, car chases and so forth. Hardly a moment of it hangs together meaningfully and there's little sense behind most of what goes on, but at least the action is put together in a solid professional manner. Blue Ice is generally a disappointing spy thriller, never quite so bad that it reaches the level of "unwatchable" but not good enough to be worthy of recommendation.
Clearly intended to be an update to the Harry Palmer successes of the
60's right down to the character's stiff upper lip/questionable ethics
superior, love of jazz, reluctant spy scenario, and same first name.
Obviously, copyright required a change to last name, otherwise, this is
a Harry Palmer movie.
Far from the quality of Ipcress File and Funeral in Berlin, but superior story and plot compared to the subsequent Russian/Quebec produced "official Palmer movies".
Caine turns in another solid performance, but potential of film limited to script gaps. Highlights would be scenes between Caine and Hoskins that are far superior to rest of film. Sean Young hopelessly miscast, so what else is new, and there is no chemistry between her and Caine.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Well,hell,I liked it.Sir Michael and Sir Bob having a lot of fun kicking arse and Sir Michael gets to snog Sean Young and nobody takes it at all seriously for heaven's sake.If you're a former spy running a jazz club it's just the sort of thing you might expect to happen to you wouldn't you say? This is a really enjoyable British movie with a good cast all playing within their comfort zones,rather like an end - of season football game with nothing at stake for those involved but personal pride.No one is going to risk breaking a leg,but no one is going to coast either. Miss Young clearly divides opinion but I have always thought her forte was playing women with hidden agendas(viz:-"Red Rock West")and she has a face that hides more than it reveals in most of her movies.Here she does well in a not very believable part as a woman with a hidden agenda (switcherooney). A lot of good British jazzers do their thing quite happily and Sir Michael is quite convincing as an erstwhile Ronnie Scott. This is by no means the train wreck many have made it out to be,but if you don't like jazz you might care to deduct one point.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What's Blue Ice ? According to this movie it's excrement that comes out
from passing airliners . You wouldn't want to be below an overhead jet
when someone flushes the loo . Come to think of it you really wouldn't
want to watch this movie either unless there was absolutely nothing
Michael Caine tries to play a Harry Palmer clone but unfortunately since it's a movie from the early 1990s it's obvious he just took the part for the pay cheque and it'd be a few more years until he started to choose his parts more carefully
Bob Hoskins is another actor who basically ruined his career by not being too fussy about the quality of the scripts . BLUE ICE is probably summed up by Hoskin's being introduced by thus : There's a car chase , Hoskin's is getting pursued by men in balaclavas . This can mean only one thing - They're terrorists and this is confirmed by their Irish accents and the fact they're firing hundreds of rounds at Bob's car as they hunt their prey . Boy this could end up like THE LONG GOOD Friday , but Bob gets the better of his pursuers ( After 5 minutes of not very exciting action ) and the terrorists car ends up a right off with one of the bad guys lying on the road in very poor shape . Bob and his frightened driver approach the terrorist . Bob turns to his driver and shouts :
" DO IT "
Not a natural killer the driver reluctantly raises his machine gun and empties the magazine into the terrorist who now lies dead , the victim of a ruthless execution
" Okay " says Bob " Get up " and the terrorist defies the laws of nature by standing to his feet . In fact all the dead terrorists come to life as Bob points to them . Has he got supernatural powers ? " Don't drive so close to the target car , you don't hesitate to fire . You ... "
Ah so it wasn't a terrorist attack at all , it's a sneaky little cheat at the expense of the audience . This worked very well - In nineteen forty something . Unfortunately by the time this plays out on screen the audience were probably expecting it and it's not a spoiler so don't complain . If you see BLUE ICE and end up being disappointed with it don't complain because I told you so
"Blue Ice" is a spy movie. I like spy movies. So, I like "Blue Ice",
but a lot less than I like Caine's Harry Palmer movies. And I think
this movie is below par as such movies go.
Caine runs a jazz club. I like jazz, so that's a plus. There's some bebop and Bobby Short tosses off half a chorus here and there.
Caine is the movie's center, and he manages to carry it along, and that's a plus. Ian Holm is good, but he's given some bad lines. Bob Hoskins doesn't have much of a part, and in what he does have he's hard to understand. The action finale is decent.
Caine has a love interest, who is Sean Young. She's a weak link here, as is her part.
Where the film has big problems is the story and script. It's disjointed. It doesn't build tension. It lacks focus. Scenes lack spark. The story leaves unanswered questions. One really doesn't care that much what's happening.
So, overall a below-par spy movie that spy and Caine fans may wish to view, but most movie fans can bypass this. It is, after all, a TV movie (HBO) and, despite a good look to this one and some production values, it still doesn't measure up.
I was recently on a Russell Mulcahy kick and decided to view his second
to find direct to video film BLUE ICE after being pleasantly surprised by
SILENT TRIGGER with Dolph Lundgren. BLUE ICE has a very engaging storyline
but ultimately falls short in the ending.
Michael Caine plays ex-British operative Harry Anders unexpectedly and
unofficially brought back into action after a traffic accident with
mysterious beauty Stacy (Sean Young). A mutual attraction leads Harry to
Stacy a seemingly small favor involving Stacy's ex boyfriend. What follows
is a intricately weaved scheme involving arms dealing and some very high
Caine is excellent as the lead character and reminded me of Roger Moore in
his heyday as Bond. Sultry and convincing, Sean Young definitely heats up
the screen. Look for a good but shortlived cameo by Bob Hoskins. Russell
Mulcahy once again puts some effective visuals onto the screen including a
hyper intense torture/interrogation sequence and effective lighting.
However, the time it took to create such an effective story and relationship between the two leads is wasted with a conclusion that emphasizes what Michael Caine is not: an action hero. Although the fight scenes in Harry's bar were forgivable, Michael Caine running around with a gun (albeit a cool gun) in the final showdown just struck me as awkward. The action also was a unnecessary reminder that the film was done on a low budget...a very low budget. Yet another film that came into fruition with a strong story and performances but would ultimately run out of steam with uninspired and unspectacular action. Of course Mr. Mulcahy would come back in fine form later with direct to video films SILENT TRIGGER, TALOS THE MUMMY, and RESURRECTION.
Yes, it's a British action film and Sir Michael is rather too old and
although he's a big man etc etc (see "Get Carter") to credibly do
"action" in all its established forms including deeply impress hot
chick (Sean Young) which by custom he is supposed to do. Reaction to it
seems to be generous condemnation from domestic reviewers and moderate
The film itself rather resembles its own torture scene - a series of flash-backs but in this case of a dozen and more earlier movies some of which starred Caine or Bob Hoskins (one with the torture scene starred Dick Powell). That is a mixed blessing - on the down side it has all been done and seen before, some as has been noted, in British budget made-for-TV series - themselves lifted and downsized from big screen originals. This though is where all resemblances to the likes of "The Sweeney" and "The Professionals" ends.
Here there's stars a-plenty, and a good British cast. Added to which is the lovely cinematography particularly of Soho night exteriors. Caine and Hoskins are inescapably stars and watchable whatever they do, this time they reprise some of their famous roles - Hoskins his star turn in "Long Good Friday." Caine "The Ipcress File and "Get Carter". Even Alun Armstrong gets it a second time doing a Caine a favour - thought he might have learnt by now. But audiences had left cinemas wanting more and here we have more. And no bad thing at all. Oh, one other thing, Harry Palmer didn't smile, Caine here does too much. Perhaps he was having too much fun and lacked a director willing to tell him. Remember what Roman Polanski is said to have said on the subject.
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