Directed by: Harold Ramis
Premise: Two men (John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton) rob a bank over the Christmas holiday and find themselves involved a murder mystery.
What Works: Oliver Platt plays a drunkard who is also the current husband of Cusack’s ex-wife. He is the most interesting character in the story because of his humor and his frailty.
What Doesn’t: The two leads are really the flattest and most uninteresting characters in the story. The film is unable to balance its comedic and serious parts. The mystery of The Ice Harvest aspires to be a sort of comic noir thriller, but in its attempt to avoid a cliché formula the film abandons any familiar structure and is unable to substitute it with something new or coherent. The twists and turns of the story come from nowhere and are not the consequence of any narrative effect.
Bottom Line: Despite a talented cast and an experienced director, The Ice Harvest is a big disappointment. Its story does not have the necessary structure to pull off its ambitious aims and the story’s attempts to be funny fall flat.
Episode: #76 (December 4, 2005)