Against the Ice, review of the survival movie with Nikolaj Conster-Waldau

Against the Ice, review of the survival movie with Nikolaj Conster-Waldau

Against the Ice

Netflix offers us an interesting new film, Against the Ice, a survival movie directed by Scandinavian director Peter Flinth, based on the true survival story of two explorers in the ice of Greenland. The interpreters of this terrible and long misadventure are the beloved Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (now widely known for his role as Jamie Lannister in Game of Thrones) and Joe Cole (who surely you have already seen in Peaky Blinders). Therefore, a rather interesting potential: a true story, set in the early twentieth century, with two great actors to support the whole and absolutely fascinating and deadly landscapes to frame the story of the explorer Ejnar Mikkelsen and the engineer Iversen. The two, embarked on a mission in the boundless and frozen lands of Greenland, found themselves stuck for months in an absolutely hostile world, without food or supplies of any kind.

Anguish and palpitations are the basis of this vision, yet another creation within the survival genre that has shown its potential especially in recent years. Against the Ice is perfectly in line with all the characteristics that are typical of the genre, with the addition of the realistic element that guarantees unprecedented thrills. Most of the most interesting and tragic events are taken from the book by the real Ejnar Mikkelsen Two Against the Ice and then, subsequently, adapted by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau who, in addition to being the protagonist, is also the screenwriter of the opera. A cold and touching story of suffering that he knew how to entertain us, also thanks to the interpreters.

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A constant fight against death

The story in this case, is the real owner of the title: it is undeniable that, knowing that what we see on screen has really happened, we tend to feel fear every time something goes wrong. And unfortunately, in Against the Ice, a lot goes wrong and the misfortunes of the two on the expedition are really many, also particularly emphasized by the script as we are talking about a survival movie. The idea is precisely to stir the hearts of the public in front of lonely and frightened men, in an extremely wild and inhospitable land. From this point of view, as we had already said, it is a product perfectly in line with the trend to which it belongs. It does not expose itself in any way, trying to break narrative or directors patterns but it also seems rather obvious to us. The aim is to tell, without too many convolutions, and make us jump on the chair or the sofa on duty for fear of seeing one of the two die for some terrible reason. The narration is therefore extremely simple and functional but, we must say, that in the first half of the film the events flow very slowly.

The life of the explorers is made up of displacements, encampments, unexpected events and that's it. The problem is that up to 50 minutes of film, there is very little to look at with great interest. The most "interesting" events, able to make us hold our breath, happen mainly towards the second half of the film and right at the end. A pity, given that the pace a little slower than expected is precisely what allowed us to enjoy Against the Ice less, making it heavier than we would have thought. However, everything is supported by the good interpretations of the two protagonists who manage to cope with more than an hour and a half of film without music, without distractions on the screen, alone in the ice talking to each other. Having overcome the plot issue, the rest convinced us on average. The settings are extremely beautiful and photography is committed to ensuring that the idea of ​​travel, sacrifice and desolation actually takes over us. This is one of the technical parts that has managed to convince us the most.

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A rather enjoyable survival film

As you will have understood from all our observations on the Netflix product, what leaves the film the most to be desired is probably caused by the budget available. The story itself works, it is interesting and well interpreted by the two protagonists who certainly did a great job. Shooting a film in which you are always and constantly alone is not easy: you need to recreate an alchemy, a friendship, an important desire to survive and also to save the other person by your side, to return home safe and sound. . The two actors have fully succeeded, too bad for the slowness of the first 50 minutes of the film which are very slow. Location and photography gave everything they could to create an enveloping and deadly atmosphere, while the CGI was a fatal blow to the idea of ​​"real" that was created during Against the Ice.

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