Against The Ice

Starring: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Joe Cole, and Charles Dance.

Directed By: Peter Flint

Where I Watched It: Netflix

English Audio Description Available?: Yes

The Plot: Based on the true story of men who traversed Greenland in the early 1900’s trying to map out the territory, we follow an ill fated group that must fight together if they want to survive the ice.

What Works: I do like Coster-Waldau as an actor, and I do wish him a good film career. I applaud him for adapting a book, as he’s a credited screenwriter here, as this story must be dear to his heart. He does a good job with what’s given to him, as does Cole, and I was moderately interested in the story. It’s kind of cool to think about how they figured Greenland out.

And the film has Charles Dance, which is always a good choice, and I love the Game Of Thrones throwback by having two Lannisters in the same film. Nice touch.

What Doesn’t Work: Man, it’s not that this film is bad, it’s just that I was so bored. I didn’t even care if the guys lived at the end. I was actually able to start and stop this, watching it in intervals, trying to get through this so I could justify a review. It’s not even two hours, but I feel like I just watched a miniseries. This movie has to be longer than Gone With The Wind. I’m certain I was just trapped in some space time continuum.

Aside from me not caring at all, I thought the title was dumb, then I saw it was based on a book called Two Against The Ice, which makes way more sense. Just keeping Two there, lets you know this is a Man vs Wild thing, and not a hockey movie, or figure skating or whatever. Anything could be against the ice. Stop being so vague.

And, yes this is a spoiler, but if you love dogs, do not watch this movie. It’s rating actually includes a notation about violence against animals or something like that, and I’m here to tell you that if dogs had Netflix, and could watch and understand films, this would be considered a horror movie for them. No dogs survive. I know that’s a spoiler, but fuck it, they all die, and they feed the dogs to each other when they die. There’s a scene where a recently deceased dog is gutted quickly and its liver ripped out… so they could eat it. I know food is scarce out there in terms of food, but damn.

The film warns you in the dialogue early on that this will be happening. I’m just confirming that it does.

The Blind Perspective: I was able to mostly follow the film, but there were a couple of things that confused me. There’s one part where they shoot a dog, and the next action is tossing raw meat to the other dogs. From the dog they just shot? Or… what? And if it was that dog, how did they get the meat so quickly? Also, I feel like I missed the death of the dogs by the bear, or at least the confirmation of that until it was said in dialogue.

I don’t know what I’m missing out on, so maybe sometimes I’m getting exactly what a visual audience gets. Sometimes one of the guys would be grunting like they were having a tough time doing something, and maybe they weren’t, and it was just a random acting choice. I have no idea. But if there was a struggle, sometimes I might have missed that.

Final Thoughts: An incredibly boring film I never want to watch again. It felt way longer than it was, and I hated the perpetual violence against dogs. I got the picture. But, most of the dogs end up with awful deaths or post mortem shit happening to them. We didn’t need all of that. You can cut away, and explain it later. It’s like someone enjoyed showing us dog death. It’s not fun.

Final Grade: D+

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