This past weekend I had the absolute honor and privilege to travel back home to Wisconsin and spend a nice long weekend with my family. Like usual this trip involved seeing some old friends, drinking some beer, petting my dog for hours on end, drinking some beer, and reclining with some old fashioneds and watching Bar Rescue with the fam.
You know, some good clean family fun.
But of course no trip to visit my parents is complete without watching a movie, I mean we love our movies over in the Ale family. So as the trip wound down and I got ready to return to my west coast IPAs we gathered in the living room to peruse Netflix for some delightful entertainment.
There was only 1 logical choice for which movie to watch: The Ice Road starring Liam Neeson and Laurence Fishburne (of course).
Now you may be asking yourself why was that the only logical choice???
Well I blame Netflix, solely for how they described the film, which was baffling to say the least. Netflix has a tag line describing this movie as a "high octane action-adventure perfect for a low key evening".
I mean, you just can't pass up on that kind of marketing folks.
While it is a fun B level movie to watch with your parents because overall you're excited to spend time with them, holy shit it is a terrible movie. Completely laughable at points.
I will admit the premise of the plot is actually pretty interesting, I've never heard of the fabled "ice road" and the idea of truckers carrying multiple tons of drilling equipment to save trapped miners does intrigue me. It sounds like a solid race against the clock type of action adventure, one that if executed well could be a decent film.
Unfortunately this is far from being executed well, and it all starts with how lazy everything is. The writing is by far some of the laziest I've seen this year, maybe all time? Contrary to the methane within the diamond mine, there is 0 build up throughout the film. So all of the action sequences and attempted thrilling moments fall totally flat.
When Jim Goldenrod's (Laurence Fishburne) rig cracks through the ice and begins to sink, he gets his leg tangled in the tow cable attached to the other trucks. Therefore when his truck starts to go down his leg is shattered in this large cable (duh these trucks are huge). But we, the viewers, get no shock factor, no holy shit moment to go with it. You feel nothing for Goldenrod as his leg coils around the rope like someone spooling up a nice bite of spaghetti. But not only is that a product of the writing but also Fishburne's lackadaisical effort. He merely gives us a quick glance at his leg and then blandly says hey just cut me loose guys whatever, as if he's well aware the movie's quality is sinking along with his truck.
There also exists one of the funniest fight scenes, if you can call it that, in cinema history between Mike McCann (Liam Neeson) and Tom Varnay (Benjamin Walker) later in the film. As McCann's truck is sloooooooowly (seriously emphasis on slow) rolling away on the ice, McCann and Varnay engage in what can only be envisioned as two hammered people trying to walk on ice. Not a single punch is thrown, so not really a fight but its just them tripping eachother and slipping on ice. Again, as you watch a giant truck roll away.
Its very three stooges.
None of the acting stands out as the dialogue also contributes to a very bland amount of interaction between characters and abrupt cuts between rather boring action, if I can call it that.
There's a happy ending and the bad guys go bye bye so you know, chalk one up for the good guys I suppose.
Stay tuned for the upcoming Liam Neeson vs. Bruce Willis battle as we take a deep dive into which "at one point flourishing career" actor has done the worst B movies in the past 5-10 years. It'll be hard to beat Bruce Willis who was in Hard Kill, which I also watched with my parents.
No trip back to Wisconsin is official without having the sweet nectar of New Glarus Brewing, the wonderfully light and flavorful Spotted Cow.
If you've never heard of it I would assume you think I'm making up a beer that just sounds so "Wisconsin" that it can't possibly be real. However I will tell you, you probably haven't heard of it because it is only available in Wisconsin. So not only is the name dripping in "ope" and "tell your folks I says hi" it quite literally can't be found outside of the cheese kingdom of Wisconsin (smuggling aside).
Anywho, Spotted Cow is a delight of a beer. Its a well crafted farmhouse ale that's light like a pilsner but packs a great amount of flavor like a nice amber. With just enough fruit taste in there to tickle the taste buds it is wonderfully refreshing on a hot humid day, which this past weekend was full of. I almost forgot how hot and humid it can get back home, but I was let's just say precipitating.
Thank goodness I had a cold Spotted Cow and an ice road to cool me down.
Spotted Cow Farmhouse Ale - American | 4.8% ABV New Glarus Brewing Company @newglarusbrewing