For the entire month of April, Cinefessions will once again be locked inside The Asylum, reviewing tons of releases by the famed studio. Every weekday throughout April you will get another Asylum review. April’s podcast will also be devoted to films from The Asylum.
Whenever I come across a film as poorly put together as Age of Ice, I start to question why we dedicate the month of April to The Asylum. It takes a minute for me to remember that they are gems from this company that I genuinely enjoy after watching something that is completely void of anything entertaining like the dull Age of Ice. Much like the other film from The Asylum that is virtually the same idea, 100 Degrees Below Zero, there is nothing of value here outside of a decent premise.
Like 100 Degrees Below Zero, Age of Ice gives us a world that is entering an ice age of sorts. We follow the story of one family’s fight to escape the deep freeze that has suddenly hit Egypt after massive earthquakes shift the entire continent. The Jones family happens upon Tariq, a Jordanian with a unique history, and they band together to try and reach a “safe zone” that they’ve heard rumors about. Ok, so even the premise isn’t that great, but it’s an apocalyptic/end of the world type disaster flick, which my wife and I always try to watch.
The biggest problem with Age of Ice is the severe lack of attention to detail. The editing chops together strange moments that often don’t flow together well at all. Characters will move from one spot to another, and from one facial expression to a completely different one that doesn’t match the line delivery. It makes for an awkward mess. I can easily forgive laughable CGI, which Age of Ice has in abundance, but bad editing is much more difficult to overlook.
The acting is garbage outside of Owais Ahmed as Tariq, and Joe Cipriano as Dylan, the young brother. I cannot put the blame entirely on the actors, though, as the script they’re working with is forced, nonsensical, and just plain bad at points. One moment that stands out above the rest as especially bad is when Jack, the patriarch, tells a man who picks them up in a truck that they haven’t felt heat in a long…long time. The delivery is laughable, but the whole thing doesn’t even make sense as the entire movie takes place over the course of four or five hours at most. That’s just one example, but there are plenty of moments like this that are as bad or worse.
The story as a whole doesn’t make any sense. Why there are these zones of warmth scattered throughout this now frozen tundra is never explained (or explained well, anyway). I genuinely don’t care about anyone in this family, mostly because of how terribly written they all are. Whether they will survive or die is of little consequence to me. I just don’t give a shit. If the viewer doesn’t care about the characters in a survival film, then the movie is dead in the water, and Age of Ice is definitely dead.
I love The Asylum. I wouldn’t force my friends to watch their films for an entire month every year if I didn’t. Age of Ice, like the other “world freezes over for no apparent reason” film, 100 Degrees Below Zero, is a great example of why the rest of the world genuinely dislikes this company. But for every Age of Ice, there is a Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, Jailbait, or Mercenaries that reminds us why we love The Asylum. Seek out any of those instead of Age of Ice.
Branden has been a film fan since he was young, roaming the halls of Blockbuster Video, trying to find the grossest, scariest looking VHS covers to rent and watch alone in the basement. It wasn’t until recently, though, that Branden started seeking out the classics of cinema, and began to develop his true passion for the art form. Branden approaches each film with the unique perspective of having studied the art from the inside, having both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in acting. He has been a film critic since 2010, and has previously written for Inside Pulse Movies, We Love Cult, and Diehard Gamefan. His biggest achievement as a film critic, to date, has been founding Cinefessions and turning it from a personal blog to a true film website, housing hundreds of film and television reviews, and dozens of podcasts.