Film Review: Troubled ‘Thin Ice’ With Greg Kinnear Barely Works

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HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – Over a decade ago, Jill & Karen Sprecher made waves on the indie scene with “Clockwatchers” and “Thirteen Conversations About One Thing” but then virtually disappeared. They’re back with another arthouse piece, a “Fargo”-esque black comedy called “Thin Ice,” starring Greg Kinnear, Billy Crudup, Alan Arkin, and more. The strong ensemble makes the relatively weak script (as presented…more on that later) easier to take as the film skates over some treacherous rough patches but never falls through.

Mickey Prohaska (Kinnear) is a jerk (and it’s the complete lack of a likable or relatable protagonist that is one of the film’s biggest drawbacks). He’s an insurance salesman who uses lies and deceit to scare people into buying policies they don’t need. And he rips them off whenever possible. In one of the first scenes in the film, he sleeps with a drunk girl at a casino conference, who rips him off after he passes out in his boxers. Sleeping with a stranger to steal his wallet really isn’t far up the moral ladder from what Mickey does to his clients.

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Thin Ice” in our reviews section.

The wear-and-tear of being a pretty scummy guy has started to impact every part of Mickey’s life. He is separated from his wife (Lea Thompson) but she considers taking him back before being again reminded of his low personal human value. His company is falling apart. At the casino, he sees a competitor hiring a new agent named Bob Egan (David Harbour) and his male competitive instinct kicks in. Even though Bob seems to have a different value scheme than Mickey, he woos him away with a higher percentage offer.

It’s not long before Egan finds a potential client, an old fella named Gorvy Hauer (Arkin) who can barely keep track of his hoarder-esque lifestyle. Bob tries to sell Gorvy what he needs and only what he needs but Mickey sees a chance to up-sell. He goes from his standard sleaze to something much more complicated when he happens to be at Gorvy’s house when a violin salesman (Bob Balaban) comes looking for what could be a very valuable item hidden in the junk. Before you know it, there’s a violent alarm company employee (Billy Crudup) blackmailing Mickey, a dead body cut up and thrown in the lake, and a police investigation that’s getting closer to nailing our troubled anti-hero.

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “Thin Ice” review.

“Thin Ice” stars Greg Kinnear, Billy Crudup, Alan Arkin, Bob Balaban, Lea Thompson, and David Harbour. It was written by Jill and Karen Sprecher and directed by Jill Sprecher. It will be released in Chicago on February 24th, 2012 and is rated R.

Thin Ice
Thin Ice
Photo credit: ATO Pictures

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