Peter Flinth’s survival-thriller Against the Ice, written by Joe Derrick and adapted from the memoir by Ejnar Mikkelen, is Arctic meets The North Water, the tale of two men confronting primal, primitive terrors.
Ten Danes set out on a journey through the Arctic tundra. What was supposed to be a sailor’s voyage has become a hikers expedition, the boat stuck in a sea of ice. Captain Mikkelsen (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) decides he’s going to set out and claim Greenland on foot, even if it means dragging a pack of dogs, as well as an inexperienced mechanic, Ivan (Joe Cole), along for the ride.
The conflict increases when these men lose a sled and their very best dog, leaving themselves stranded in a snowy nowhere with almost no food and even less water.
Against the Ice is efficient and highly effective in style, relying on sound, overhead drone shots, and the men’s own fear and misjudgment to create a sense of pervasive doom. We know they will make it out alive (it’s based on a memoir, after all) but the Arctic atmosphere is truly visceral.
Throughout, they are huddled in paper-thin tents and doing everything they can to survive. You’ve seen this scenario before–in dozens of movies and episodes of Alone–to the point where it all starts to feel rather familiar. A bear attack? That was sooo 2015. Even so, there’s just enough style to keep you invested from Day 1 to Day 865 and the movie is Dove-approved for Ages 12+.
The Dove Take
This is a solid thriller that is fine for kids who have already graduated 7th grade.