HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Perfectly Normal Family, A
Ravage
Honeymoon Phase, The
One Summer
Bird Island
Variety
Devil to Pay, The
Gypsy
Lost in London
Divorce Italian Style
Becky
Salon Kitty
Misbehaviour
Charles, Dead or Alive
Gretel and Hansel
Mademoiselle
Tunnel, The
India Song
Last Rhino, The
Made in Hong Kong
Ring of Spies
Rom Boys: 40 Years of Rad
Pocketful of Miracles
The Tomb: Devil's Revenge
Sidecar Racers
Space Dogs
Out/Marriage
Safety Last!
Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, The
Show Boat
Savage
City Called Dragon, A
I Used to Go Here
Six Suspects
Still the Water
Not Now, Comrade
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Wives of the Skies
Two Heads Creek
Next Stop, Greenwich Village
   
 
Newest Articles
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
   
 
  Blue Ice James bloody Bond, mate
Year: 1992
Director: Russell Mulcahy
Stars: Michael Caine, Sean Young, Bob Hoskins, Ian Holm, Bobby Short, Alun Armstrong, Sam Kelly, Jack Shepherd, Phil Davis, Patricia Hayes, Mac Andrews, Alan MacNaughton, Todd Boyce, Peter Forbes, Peter Gordon, Oliver Haden
Genre: ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Harry Anders (Michael Caine), a former MI6 agent now running a successful jazz club in London, has a literal run-in with Stacy (Sean Young), the beautiful wife of an American diplomat. With whom he embarks on a torrid affair. On learning of Harry's past life in espionage, Stacy asks for his help dealing with a man seemingly targeting her for blackmail. Yet when Harry enlists a policeman pal to trace the culprit he stumbles onto the aftermath of a double murder leaving both the stranger and his friend dead. With the cops treating him like a suspect and trained killers dogging his every move, Harry becomes embroiled in a deadly conspiracy tied to his own past.

You could rely on Michael Caine to headline a nifty espionage thriller. He'd been doing that since the Sixties. Yet back in 1992 few critics had kind words for either Blue Ice or its star. Many, particularly the British press, dismissed the film Caine co-produced with legendary producer Martin Bregman as a vanity vehicle. At the time Caine's apparent willingness to sign on for any old tat left him something of a running joke in his native land. Happily that soon changed as the Nineties wore on and Caine shifted his career path to character actor, netting his second Oscar and well-deserved status as a national treasure. Viewed in hindsight, Blue Ice seems like a last gasp for classic Caine: the thriller hero and romantic lead (there is The Quiet American (2002) and Harry Brown (2009) of course, but those are very different films). It is possible Bregman and Caine hoped to launch a film series not dissimilar from the latter's famous Sixties spy role as Harry Palmer. That was not to be although the film easily outdoes Caine's subsequent revival of Palmer with the underwhelming Bullet to Beijing (1995) and Midnight in St. Petersburg (1996).

Despite an age-gap with leading lady Sean Young that was much remarked upon even at the time, Blue Ice finds Caine at his most affable and charismatic. Inspired by a series of novels penned by Ted Allbeury, the film trades on the weight of Caine's iconic past, re-christening Allbeury's literary character (originally 'Tad Anders') as a means of alluding to his exploits in The Ipcress File (1965), Funeral in Berlin (1966) and Billion Dollar Brain (1967) and tipping its hat to his real-life status as a British cultural hero. If the plot ambles laboriously through its first act set-up, Caine remains very much in his element as the real-life entrepreneur lords it up at his club (whose house band includes famed cabaret singer Bobby Short, Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts and soundtrack composer Michael Kamen!) celebrating his love of jazz, outwits minor thugs and corrupt coppers alike in true Get Carter (1971) fashion, trades Cockney rhyming banter with special guest star Bob Hoskins (wasted in a throwaway role, though it is fun to see the stars of Mona Lisa (1986) together again) and puts his best Alfie (1966) moves on Young's slinky femme fatale. The latter, who signed up for this after an infamous failed bid for the role of Catwoman in Batman Returns (1992), trades largely on her neo-noir status post-Blade Runner (1982) and No Way Out (1987). She is not given enough to do but maintains a chic and sexy presence and sparks genuine chemistry with Caine.

Once the thriller elements kick into high gear so do the arresting visuals from Russell Mulcahy. The Australian born director, who see-sawed from groundbreaking music videos to hit-and-miss horror and fantasy fare (e.g. Razorback (1984), Highlander (1986) and Talos the Mummy (1999) though he sandwiched this between the Denzel Washington cop thriller Ricochet (1991) and Kim Basinger heist flick The Real McCoy (1993)), here delivers one of his tightest, most controlled and involving films. Mulcahy's film noir stylings complement the mystery plot as he delivers a striking moonlit chase over rooftops and through back alleys, an hallucinatory torture-cum-dream sequence that re-imagines a similar scene from Ipcress File with Sam Raimi-esque frantic camera trickery and gore as multiple Harry Anders confront each other, a Brian De Palma-like nod to Psycho (1960) with Caine in the shower (!) and a dynamic finale set amidst a maze of shipping containers. Still a relatively athletic presence, Caine cuts a dash in the action scenes though his sax scored shower sex scene is a little silly. On the other hand the scene where he traumatizes a minor villain by destroying his collection of vintage jazz records is darkly amusing. Adapted for the screen by Irish playwright Ron Hutchinson, who wrote John Frankenheimer's acclaimed The Burning Season (1994) and not-so-acclaimed Island of Dr. Moreau (1996), the plot does not add up to anything substantial. But as star vehicles go, Blue Ice is consistently involving and entertaining.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 767 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Russell Mulcahy  (1953 - )

Australian director with a flashy visual style. A former music video director - most notably for Duran Duran - Mulcahy made an impact in 1984 with his first real film, the Outback creature feature Razorback. 1986's fantasy thriller Highlander was a big cult hit, and its success led to a foray in Hollywood in the 1990s, which included thrillers Ricochet and The Real McCoy, the superhero yarn The Shadow and the sequel Highlander II: The Quickening. Subsequent work has largely been in TV.

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: