|ICEMAN (director: Fred Schepisi; screenwriters: Chip Proser/John Drummer/story by John Drimmer; cinematographer: Ian Baker; editor: Billy Weber; music: Bruce Smeaton; cast: Timothy Hutton (Dr. Stanley Shephard), John Lone (Charlie), Lindsay Crouse (Dr. Diane Brady), Josef Sommer (Whitman), David Strathairn (Dr. Singe), Philip Akin (Dr. Vermeil), Danny Glover (Loomis); Runtime: 100; MPAA Rating: PG; producers: Norman Jewison/Patrick Palmer; Universal Pictures; 1984)|
film has its moments when it thaws out."
by Dennis Schwartz
The screenplay by
Chip Proser and John Drimmer
studies a primitive man found frozen in the
Arctic. Aussie filmmaker Fred Schepisi
("The Devil's Playground"/"Empire
Falls"/"Barbarosa") tries to connect science with
everyday life but seems confused about what to make of
the science discovery.
Lone is a caveman, rescued by a team of American
scientists in the Arctic, after being trapped in the
ice for 40,000 thousand years. The Neanderthal man is
revived by stimuli and high-powered laser cuttings and
is studied by the scientists at their base research
center. Scientist Lindsay Crouse wants to
study him to advance our knowledge of cryogenics.
Anthropologist Timothy Hutton wants to
study him to further our knowledge of human nature.
Hutton names the savage Charlie and he is placed under
a dome in an artificial environment. The anthropologist
tries to connect with Charlie in a student-mentor
relationship, as they both sing Neil Young's Heart of
Gold. Other scientist want to destroy the savage by
dissecting him for experiments to find the chemicals
that made him a survivor.
hovering helicopter disturbs Charlie, he escapes and
runs wildly in fear over the research center. The
scientists talk to the local Eskimos to learn more
about primitive life, which tells us more about modern
man. It leads to a surprise ending and a lecture on
how mankind is screwing up civilization.
heady film has its moments when it thaws out, but
the ambitious film might have great ideas but falls
flat as entertainment.. But Lone's sensitive
performance is something to behold, even if the lead
scientists seem to be miscast.
REVIEWED ON 9/11/2015 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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