Review: THE FROZEN GROUND (2013) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Review: THE FROZEN GROUND (2013)

If I maintain my serious face long enough, I might win another Oscar...
Nicolas Cage's and John Cusack's performances are commendable, while the police procedural drama is fairly intense, if overly sluggish.

On the surface, writer-director Scott Walker's feature debut in THE FROZEN GROUND seems like a huge potential. This is even interesting, especially the movie features a high-profile cast  --  -- Nicolas Cage, John Cusack and Vanessa Hudgens -- who are played against their usual screen personas. However, Walker chooses to sleepwalk all over his incompetent direction and only manages a half-realized police procedural drama largely saved by a trio of solid performances and some fairly engaging moments.

Based on the true story of a serial killer Robert Hansen who have raped and killed nearly two dozen of young women during the late '70s and early '80s, THE FROZEN GROUND begins in 1983 as Alaskan State Trooper Sgt. Jack Halcombe (Nicolas Cage, playing a fictionalized character here) who is about to retire his law enforcement duty and leave Anchorage for a new job and home with his wife (Radha Mitchell) and daughter. But then comes a grisly case involving the death of a young woman found in the wilderness and later another young woman, a teenaged prostitute named Cindy Paulson (Vanessa Hudgens), who is fortunate enough to escape from Robert Hansen, a local resident at which she claims he has raped and imprisoned her like a slave. However, the cops dismiss her story judging from her tainted background and Hansen is known to the local community as a respectable family man. Still, Halcombe believes that Paulson's story might be connected to the same missing-person cases he has been investigating so far.
THE FROZEN GROUND only comes alive once the movie hits the second half when Jack Halcombe and Robert Hansen finally come face-to-face. This is where both Nicolas Cage's and John Cusack's performances shine the most. Cage is perfectly restrained here from his usual hysterical performance, while John Cusack brings a certain creepy persona under his reclusive and geeky appearance. Vanessa Hudgens, in the meantime, is equally solid as well.

The interrogation scene where Jack Halcombe and Robert Hansen finally faced off against each other.
The first half of the movie is unfortunately sluggish, while Scott Walker's equally lifeless direction almost crippled everything into a near standstill with too many long-winded scenarios and little suspense. It's also wasted that would-be solid supporting cast like Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson who plays as Cindy's pimp and Radha Mitchell as Halcombe's wife are sadly neglected into thankless roles.
Uh, hello, 911? There's a man outside my house claiming he's a Nicolas Cage...

While THE FROZEN GROUND isn't exactly as solid as it expected to be, the movie remains adequate enough. I mean, how often you get to see an exceptionally good performance from Nicolas Cage these days?


Kelvin -KtheBlogger- Tan said...

Is this movie coming to Malaysia? Anyway, it don't seem to be nice to watch

caseymoviemania said...

Yup, Kelvin. This movie is already showing in cinema here since last week.