In "Ice Rain," two men perilously stranded on an icy mountainside in reminisce about their love-lives -- with the same woman. Given pic's poorly structured flashbacks, unconvincing cliffhanging action and insipid grand passion, potential distribs will doubtless spare auds the dull climb.

In “Ice Rain,” two men perilously stranded on an icy mountainside in reminisce about their love-lives — with the same woman. Relatively high-profile Asian cast and soaring snowy Canadian vistas, standing in for Alaskan peak, could not keep this South Korean mountaineering soaper from falling flat as a pancake at the box office. Tyro helmer Kim Eun-sook’s altitude-dizzy love triangle is too haphazardly fragmented in time and space to generate momentum or flesh out character. Given pic’s poorly structured flashbacks, unconvincing cliffhanging action and insipid grand passion, potential distribs will doubtless spare auds the dull climb.

Lee Sung-jae brings sympathetic warmth to his role of the married lover, though fellow-alpinist Song Seung-hun, unnecessarily dumbs himself down. The few times helmer Kim allows her characters to venture into full-blown melodrama, as in a highly charged hospital scene, pic gains emotional complexity. In the hospital scene between Lee Sung-jae, his young mistress (cute-aggressive Kim Ha-neul, an acquired taste) and his wife, the film briefly succeeds in conveying more than simply one emotion at a time, before returning to its polite suffering and pedestrian, over-telegraphed action.

Ice Rain

South Korea

Production

A KM Culture presentation of a Koo & Film production. Produced by Koo Bon-han. Executive producer, Park Moo-seung. Directed by Kim Eun-sook. Screenplay, Kim, Park Mi-young, Seo Ji-young.

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen), Yoon Hong-sik; editor, Kim Sang-bum, Kim Jae-bum; music, Cho Young-wook. Reviewed at Asian-American Film Festival, New York, July 20, 2004. Korean dialogue. Running time: 104 MIN.

With

Lee Sung-jae, Song Seung-hun, Kim Ha-neul.
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