So it would seem I’m on quite the movie watching tear these past few day, no fireworks for me this holiday weekend…. Fireworks have been absent in my life for along time, and probably will remain so… unless you count the jerk who was still firing them off at midnight last night….
I was intrigued by the story of Thin Ice as soon as I saw it hit the shelves. I love a good con/scheme/double cross movie, and this looked to fit the bill quite nicely. It had a very likeable cast made up of Greg Kinnear, Alan Arkin and Billy Crudup, so what was the risk? I’ve said it before that I find the”smaller” films to be more rewarding when they hit; and if they miss, you really don’t lose out, because you probably weren’t expecting much; or you expected a miss anyway, and wanted to see how big a miss they could deliver.
Thin Ice focuses on Greg Kinnear as Wisconsin insurance salesman Mickey Prohaska, who’s looking to escape the “9 months of winter and 3 months of road work”, and perhaps get his life back on track with his estranged wife played by Lea Thompson. Struggling to make ends meet, dipping into his wife’s money, his company’s money, Mickey may have found his way out, when he happens to meet a senile old farmer named Gorvy Hauer (played by Alan Arkin), who first he tries to oversell insurance to, and then tries to cheat, steal and switch out a valuable antique violin that the man really doesn’t know he has. Sneaking back into the old man’s house with the assistance of a shady locksmith named Randy (Billy Crudup) who had just alarmed the building, the pair are soon discovered by the old man’s neighbour. Before Mickey can talk his way out of the situation, Randy takes matters to another level by killing the man, photographing Mickey, and cementing their partnership in a scheme to dump the body in a frozen lake. As the stakes for the violin raise, and Gorvy starts to catch on to what is going on around him, plots are hatched, and re-hatched, with a final twist in the scheme yet to come.
Thin Ice was enjoyable, and full of dark comedy, which I particularly enjoy, but I know is not everyone’s cup of tea. The first half hour seemed to go very slowly for me, but once it picked up the ride was enjoyable.