The Ice Harvest

Rated 2.0

A sleazy lawyer (John Cusack) and his sleazy associate (Billy Bob Thornton) embezzle $2 million from their even sleazier boss (Randy Quaid) and then spend a frantic Christmas Eve running around Wichita dodging the goon sent to find them. Richard Russo and Robert Benton’s script (from a novel by Scott Phillips) is a mordant send-up of film-noir classics like Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice, but the joke goes sour early on and is never as funny as it intends to be. Russo, Benton and director Harold Ramis give the movie snap and energy (with a couple of laugh-out-loud moments), but they neglect to give us anyone to root for. Oliver Platt plays Cusack’s drunken pal, and Connie Nielsen, as the obligatory sultry dangerous female, looks amazingly like the Kathleen Turner of Body Heat.