A twisted take on 'Little Red Riding Hood' with a teenage juvenile delinquent on the run from a social worker traveling to her grandmother's house and being hounded by a charming, but sadistic, serial killer/pedophile.
Larceny, lust and lethal behavior. In icebound Wichita, Kansas, it's Christmas Eve, 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 Cavanaugh have just successfully embezzled $2 million from Kansas City boss Bill Guerrard. But the real prize for Charlie is the stunning Renata, who runs the Sweet Cage strip club. Charlie hopes to slip out of town with Renata. But as daylight fades and an ice 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 - and the 12 hours of Christmas Eve are filled with surprises. Written by
Monica Bellucci was initially signed to play the character of Renata but had to back out due to her pregnancy. See more »
When Pete gets dragged out of the bar by the bartender's boyfriend, his pants get ripped in the back. In the subsequent shot, there is no tear. See more »
Well? How'd it go?
Good. Went good.
Am I gonna have to slap the shit outta you? How much?
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.
No, we're not doing it. It's already done.
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When the name Harold Ramis is mentioned, a lot of people will probably say "Harold who?". When explained to those people that he directed the wonderful romantic comedy GROUNDHOG DAY and wrote the screenplays for GHOSTBUSTERS I & II, they'll probably say "Oooh, that Harold!". After the redundant De Niro-wrecks ANALYZE THIS & THAT it got a little quiet around Ramis. Now he's back with THE ICE HARVEST, a movie that somewhat differs from his other work. It's been a while since I've seen such a successful mixture of black comedy and film-noir/thriller.
Charlie (John Cusack), a Kansas attorney on the verge of a burn-out, and his associate Vic (Billy Bob Thornton) have just stolen 2 million $ from their boss on Christmas Eve. They're planning on leaving that same night to enjoy their money elsewhere. Charlie also is in love with the beautiful stripclub-owner Renata and hopes that his newly earned dollars will make a fine argument to persuade her to go with him. But an upcoming ice storm makes it very difficult to leave the town immediately. On top of that, a mysterious figure has arrived in Wichita informing all over the place about Charlie. It will turn out to be a night full of surprises where everyone seems to be playing dark and deceiving games.
This movie relies on the statement "Money is the root of all evil". It's slightly disturbing to see how far one will go when a considerable amount of money is involved. Maybe not all of the twists and turns in the plot are unpredictable, but there are enough of them to keep it interesting, all this at a fairly high pace. They provide enough enjoyable moments, with the trunk-scene as one of the highlights. This particular scene leads to a funny discussion between Charlie and Vic about a Mercedes and a Lincoln. All this in order to say that the script and dialogues are more than decent.
Cusack and Thornton deliver the goods, never over-acting it. Besides them there's also a striking performance by Connie Nielsen as femme-fatale Renata and I never thought that a completely drunk Oliver Platt, as Charlie's drinking buddy, could be so hilarious. And it was nice to see Mike Starr and Randy Quaid in some smaller roles. So the complete cast pulls it off quite good.
Maybe THE ICE HARVEST (with the appropriate tagline "Thick Thieves. Thin Ice.", by the way) isn't a movie for a wide audience, because of the grim & black humor and the occasional pretty violent outbursts. But it sure is a welcome alternative for mainstream movies and highly recommended for film-noir-fans.
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