|Index||7 reviews in total|
Whenever I see this film, I always feel like tucking myself away in
bed, wishing the weather outside would be Grey, windy, cold and rainy
so as I could feel safe in my home and lazy. I'm not saying 'Arctic
Blue' is mediocre - on the contrary.....
This is one of the few films I've seen where I feel completely relaxed. Even with the violence that fills it, this film has such a relaxing, gentle beauty about it - not to mention the exhilarating Alaskan scenery this film showcases.
Peter Masterson, the director, delivers an authentic feeling of isolation and paints a picture of the enormity of the location to the viewer. This is a good base for an original story - In an isolated town in the middle of nowhere, anything can happen....even murder! The atmosphere was built very well and you get a touch of what it would be like living there.
The cinematography was splendid. It constantly gave me the urge to want to be there - still tucked in bed though. The film painted such a brilliant picture of just how far the nearest town could be by utilizing the treacherous yet beautiful landscape.
The music was nothing special, although at times I could say it added well to the wilderness and action scenes well.
I couldn't say much about the story either - also nothing special - although it is original. Nevertheless, it does hold your attention for all duration. The dazzling scenery adds most to the experience though.
Rutger Hauer was an excellent choice for the misunderstood individual - the same role he played masterfully in Blade Runner. His commanding presence always gives films great credibility. Here he plays a sad individual who feels he has nothing to lose and that nature is his home after losing his wife years earlier. It is for this reason he and a band of friends murder rival trappers on a hunting trip without remorse. Dylan walsh plays his role convincingly as an ecologist for an oil company who's responsibility, being the only pilot in town, is to transport Rutger Hauer to the nearest town to be trialled for his crimes.
In general, I found the film quite entertaining - like a 1.5 hour portal to Alaska. And it is so relaxing and beautiful that you forget about its shortcomings and plot holes. It isn't a classic, but in my books, a definitive escapist experience and a must for all the wilderness film fans out there.
This movie works on some levels, just not very many. It's a decent
muck-about-in-the-snow actioner. But the plot and character
developments are about as sensical as an average episode of Walker:
Texas Ranger. Come to think of it, those beards everyone is sporting in
Arctic Blue look rather familiar. But moving on.
Hauer still manages to be compelling in a role that keeps you wondering if the guy is evil or just plain crazy. Everyone else is on par with a TV movie-of-the-week. Not terrible, just not terribly good, either. They're all hampered by a weak script with holes you could drop a snow avalanche through. Northern Exposure it ain't. There are worse movies you could while away 95 minutes with, but there are better options, too.
Anything with Rutger Hauer is better than average thanks to his presence, and no exception here. In this one he's the bad guy, but good guy, character, meaning the misunderstood individualist. However, this aspect of the story is left unexplored. Hauer's a trapper in Alaska with a gang of moronic sidekicks who stumble upon a group of hunters and threaten to take some of their pelts. Hauer kills, with a thrown knife, one of the hunters who draws a gun, then his gang leave the others in the wild after destroying their truck motor, and of course the hunters die from exposure. So the local lawman is determined to get Hauer. In a situation where self defense could have been shown, the trappers let matters get way out of hand, then are determined to free Hauer from the grips of the law. During the escapades of getting Hauer to jail in Fairbanks, Hauer protests that he is only a misunderstood individual who's one with the wilderness. And the young man who takes the duty to deliver Hauer is conflicted about doing this. It seems that there were plot elements cut out because it would have been much more believable if Hauer had told his side of the killing to the lawman, which he never did. No explanation and no remorse just make him a bad character and it's tough to see why the lawman feels sympathy towards him. There's a whole subplot about evil oil company dealings that is unexplored and tough to figure out, and that's more of what was probably cut out, and somehow Hauer is involved against the oil company but that's also a missing plot piece. The producers needed to have had somebody with fresh eyes look at the film before they cut out certain plot developments that left the story less coherent than it should have been. Still it's above average and if you can fill in the holes yourself as I did, it will be a fine evening of viewing, and there's some really beautiful scenery.
Cinematography of the Alaska wilderness is a real plus, and a couple scenes standout, but for the most part "Arctic Blue" is a mess. Rutger Hauer is never going to advance his "B" movie career with these types of roles. Here he is nothing but a cardboard character, almost blending into the snowy landscape. The script is never believable, and there appear to be parts cut out that would have helped connect the dots. The ending seems to be sending some type of ecological message, but it is meaningless with the nonsense that precedes it. The two things that I will remember about "Arctic Blue" are the above summary "grapefruit" quote, and a flying pickax. Other than that the film is very forgettable. - MERK
Arctic Blue is as eccentric and loopy as I'd imagine such unique climate conditions make people behave up there. Indeed, instead of a straight up action adventure, they've gone for something a little more meandering and amusing, sort of like Midnight Run under the midnight sun. In a sea of direct to video flicks that Rutger Hauer has done, it's tough to weed the gems from the turds, but this one is gold, especially if you're a fan of him, as well as gorgeously photographed scenery. As Ben, he's not quite hero, not quite antagonist, a wildman of a trapper who functions on instinct and has no use for the rule of law. When an altercation with a park ranger leads to murder at his own hand, Ben is set to be escorted to judgment by a local sheriff (Dylan Walsh). Walsh is green around the ears though, and Ben is determined to escape, aided by his familiarity with the land and climate, as well as his bawdy fellow trappers, who are hot on their trail. what follows is almost genre defying; it's just this side of adventure, with the slightest hint of buddy comedy and even a few mournful notes to Ben's backstory that give it that dramatic weight. I love an ambiguous character, one who makes real choices and has capacity for both compassion and viciousness in their spirit, seemingly free from the constriction of conventional plot development. Ben is his own man, and approaches both his environment and his fellow man on his own terms, which granted can lead to trouble, but is an endlessly attractive character trait to have. I think having grown up in such a rugged, untethered corner of the globe, people like Ben run on their own clock, and hum with the delirious atmosphere of such a far removed existence. The entire film has that going for it too, like everyone involved is running off of no sleep and whatever is in the water way up there in the north. A true undiscovered gem of a film, if you can find it anywhere.
There are so many holes and incongruities in this movie, I was considering hiring a private investigator to find the plot. One minute the hero and his prisoner (Rutger Hauer) are snowed in with wolves baying, the next minute they are basking in sunshine near a clear, crystal stream. Combine this with bodies being inexplicably hung in trees, shot bad guys suddenly recovering to their joke cracking best, Rutger athletically striding through the snow 5 minutes after being savagely stabbed in the leg and the apparent disinterest of the police in a trail of corpses littering the Arctic landscape and you have the most poorly directed, written and acted pieces of cinematic effluent ever to have polluted my TV set. I know what Elvis would have done to his TV set if he had ever watched this.
One of the finest cinematic pieces I've seen in quite some time. I enjoyed the many scenes involving running and snow. Mr. Hauer is one of the most gifted actors of our time, if not ever. Please rent this one as soon as possible.
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