Feeble and drab, ICE is a paint-by-numbers heist adventure weighed down by listless cross-cutting between jewel thieves, police detectives, and stereotyped Mafiosi.
After mob hoods knock off a jewelry store and leave a trail of corpses behind, cat burglars Ellen (Traci Lords) and her husband-partner Charley (Phillip Troy) resolve to rob the robbers. In his fortress-like mansion, Mafia kingpin Vito Malta (Jorge Rivero) uses a late-night hot-ice-for-cash
exchange as an excuse to liquidate rivals who've been muscling in on his turf. Meanwhile, Ellen deactivates his alarm sensors (and guards) to appropriate millions of dollars worth of diamonds from Malta's safe. Charley, hired by Western Fidelity as part of an insurance scam, decides to keep the
flawless jewels and retire, but he's ventilated by the vengeful gangsters. Ellen's equivocating brother Rich (Zach Galligan), who has agreed to fence the jewels, makes off with the score and stashes it in a locker at an ice-skating rink.
Ellen is simultaneously hassled by cops and pursued by gangsters. Ignoring handsome Detective Little (Jamie Alba), who advises her to revive her dormant singing career, Ellen gets caught in crimeworld crossfire as Godfather Anthony Morita (Mike Toney) claims the pilfered gems are really his
property and has Rich seized as a bargaining chip. Flying in by copter, Ellen rubs out Malta and his cut-throats and rescues her brother. Rick tries to flee with the ice and gets blown up in the whirlybird, which Ellen has rigged to kill Malta. Giving up crime but not Detective Little, Ellen faces
a happier future.
What is most notable about ICE is its strong heroine. It's she who does the risky B&Es while her spouse handles the lookout duties; it's she who single-handedly eradicates two Mafia factions; and it's she who shoots, punches, and kick-boxes her way through a regiment of thuggish men--all without
sacrificing her femininity or mussing her coiffure. Too bad this Camille Paglia fantasy woman is played by Traci Lords, the ex-porn star turned fully-clothed action lead. All dressed up but unable to act, Lords displays the same petulant manner and stunted acting register in film after film.
Otherwise, the movie offers plenty of kung-fu and heavy artillery for undemanding action fans, but it's cloddishly directed and monotonously acted (even the shower sex scene with Lords is unstimulating). ICE fails to transcend its genre and melts quickly into oblivion. (Graphic violence, extremeprofanity.)
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- Released: 1994
- Rating: R
- Review: Feeble and drab, ICE is a paint-by-numbers heist adventure weighed down by listless cross-cutting between jewel thieves, police detectives, and stereotyped Mafiosi. After mob hoods knock off a jewelry store and leave a trail of corpses behind, cat burgl… (more)