Movie:-The frozen ground
DIRECTOR: Scott Walker
CAST: Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, Vanessa Hudgens
A movie about the largest Alaskan hunt in history, for a string of bodies left out in the snow by a serial killer, gets reduced to a succession of heart-to-hearts between a cop and one of the victims. It isn’t frozen ground this movie is treading — despite all those repetitive shots of Alaskan wilderness — but squishy, treacherous snow, melting under the weight of its own exploitative warmth.
It doesn’t help that Cusack, a very likeable actor, is just the wrong man for the job of an off-kilter killer. In an attempt to be the normal, married guy, father and baker, hiding out in the open, he is just too normal. Robert Hansen’s eyes, we are told, “go black” just before he rapes and tortures his victims, but Cusack is never able to channel that menace.
Cage, in a half-way decent role after a long time, can’t get the worried brow off his forehead, on the other hand. In the way debutant director Walker has written this script, he carries the weight of the investigation on his shoulders. And Cage, as Sergeant Jack, appears to really believe that.
That he is the only one who cares that girls of similar looks, ages, sizes, in similar professions (prostitutes or strippers or exotic dancers) have gone missing after fixing a photo session with a stranger. Or that several of them have ended up shot multiple times in the forest in a similar manner (in the back, killed while running). Nobody appears to connect those dots, nobody appears to care even after he does — all the more better for Jack to be a hero.
The one girl who managed to escape Hansen’s clutches was Cindy (Hudgens), and Jack quickly adopts her as his sister/daughter. The same sister who died tragically when she was Cindy’s age. The local cops had refused to take Cindy’s word against the respectable Hansen’s. Now that Jack has taken her under his wings, the ungrateful Cindy just keeps running away straight into unquestionable danger — but that’s another story. It