Iceman 3D (2013)
Reviewed by: ewaffle on 2017-06-08
Summary: Not bad
“Iceman 3-D” which I saw in glorious 2-D, is by no means the worst sequel/remake ever done. That dubious honor will remain with “Casablanca”, a deservedly short-lived television prequel to the all-time great movie of the same but with David Soul, formerly Hutch “Starsky and Hutch” substituting for Humphrey Bogart. “Iceman 3-D” falls in that middle ground of not a disaster but would be better if one weren’t constantly reminded of the exquisite original. This movie would be a decent entry in the fish out of water who ultimately saves the day by applying the moral code of a bygone era to the urban wretchedness of the modern day if only one could forget the performances of Maggie Cheung, Yuen Biao, Yuen Wah and the note perfect production design of the 1989 effort.
There are a number of reasons why a movie might be remade—indeed the Hong Kong film industry in the 1980s and 1990s was a very efficient self-plagiarizing machine with the second and sometime third chapters of a celluloid tale ready for release while the original was still in the cinemas. A famous negative example of this was “A Better Tomorrow” with Chow Yun Fat as Mark Gor not only shot full of holes on the beach but actually seen to die. Not only was there no sequel planned available but with teenage boys from Hong Kong to Singapore suddenly sporting trench coats and being cool while chewing on a toothpick, Mark Gor couldn’t stay dead. Which he didn’t, of course, since his identical twin was waiting in New York City to pick up his weaponry.
“Iceman 3-D” is a different matter entirely than a typical remake or sequel, though. There was no built in audience for a movie that had run a quarter of a century previously. While a few tickets might be sold based on nostalgia, that is not enough of a basis for a CGI extravaganza (Ming dynasty soldiers using shields to snowboard down an avalanche, for example) like this. Polly/May, the hooker with the heart of gold plate, is a juicy role for an actress but Eva Huang Sheng-Yi, while an accomplished and lovely actress, wasn’t going to set hearts racing and wallets opening as the headliner. The most likely reason was that Donnie Yen and his reps thought He Ying would fit his ability and reputation perfectly, which it did. He is listed as one of several producers of the “Iceman 3-D” and his participation may have been the reason it was dug out of the ice after 25 years.

Still, a decent movie in itself even if it does end inconclusively enough for a second helping to be possible.
Reviewer Score: 6