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"Iceman": A Martial Arts Chase Movie with an Incredible Pause 

Tuesday, Sep 16 2014

Law Wing-Cheong's Iceman is the kind of aggressively goofy combination of comedy and action that only the Chinese cinema really gets right these days. (See also Stephen Fung's Tai Chi Hero from 2013.) There are in fact four icemen, the protagonist being Ho Ying (Donnie Yen), a Ming Dynasty palace guard accused of a murder he didn't commit. The other men o' ice are a trio of bickering brothers chasing Ying, and all four are accidentally frozen in a snowy avalanche (as will happen) and defrosted in present-day Hong Kong. The brothers' pursuit of Ying picks right back up, pausing for very long pees and the occasional bowl of delicious chicken curry spaghetti as they learn to adjust to this strange new world, which Ying does with the help of thoroughly modern May (Eva Huang). (Ying also spends a lot of time standing heroically atop moving buses, just because he can.) Iceman has no shortage of fart and poop jokes, and the big McGuffin is Shiva's non-metaphorical penis, needed to start the Golden Wheel of Time, obviously. And while there's some serious subtext about the state of constant surveillance in modern China, as well as lingering xenophobia toward the Japanese, Iceman is mostly just silly fun, as a movie about an unfrozen warrior ought to be.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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