Iceman: The Time Traveler Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Donnie Yen, Wang Baoqiang, Simon Yam
  • Director: Raymond Yip
  • Disc Format: Dolby, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: Cantonese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Cantonese (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: 
     Not Rated
  • Studio: Well Go USA
  • Release Date: February 19, 2019
  • Run Time: 88 minutes

        What do you do when you make a film that ends with a cliffhanger, but absolutely nobody has any interest in seeing the resolution in a sequel because of how awful the original was? If you are the producers of Iceman, the 2014 martial arts action film starring Donnie Yen, you push forward with a sloppy sequel that makes the first look like a masterpiece in comparison. Even if you can get past the ridiculously bad CGI effects used throughout the film, the characters are silly and 2-dimensional, built for action scenes and dumb comedic relief rather than any true character development. Between Iceman and The Monkey King, 2014 was an awful year for Donnie Yen, and Iceman: The Time Traveler somehow surpasses both of those films as his worst.

        After a lengthy recap of the first film, (which takes up 10-minutes of the 88-minute run-time) Iceman: The Time Traveler begins where the last film left off. Ying (Yen) is a palace guard from the Ming Dynasty who was frozen in an avalanche and is thawed out in present day China, only to find that history has a record of him as a traitor and the death of his entire home village. In order to correct the wrongs of the past and discover why he was framed for a treasonous act he did not commit, Ying must travel back in time to the Ming Dynasty with the help of The Golden Wheel of Time.

        If you had no trouble accepting the fact that these men survived being frozen in time, it shouldn’t be too difficult to buy into the concept of time travel. If only that were the most ridiculous aspect of the film, it might have worked on some level. At the very least, the action needed to be far more impressive. There are a few decent scenes, mostly choreographed with the camera and CGI rather than any decent action choreography, but it is still the highlight of a very disappointing film. Each scene feels more aimless than the last, and nearly every character is more obnoxious than endearing.

        The Blu-ray release of Iceman: The Time Traveler also contains a DVD copy of the film. This is more than anything contained on the actual disc, in terms of special features. There is an English-language track, if you want to make a bad film worse, but this is the only extra on the disc other than trailers.   

Entertainment Value: 3/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 2/10
Historical Significance:  1/10
Special Features: 1.5/10

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