A group of scientists stumble upon a fully frozen Neanderthal, whose cells seem to have miraculous not been ravaged by the subzero temperatures and long term prison. It is these cells the scientists wish to harvest and study as a means of advancing cryogenics. Little do they know that their attempts revitalize the Neanderthal and in turn lead to an even bigger scientific, and personal, feat.
While it doesn't drastically stray from the 'fish out of waterunlikely friends' tropes, the usually comic Fred Schepsi actually pulls in a fairly decent sci-fi drama. Sure, some of the science here is a fairly sizeable stretch, but John Lone's outstanding and sympathetic performance as Charlie the Neanderthal easily carries to film. His simian movements, expressionistic grunting and the incredible make up utterly sell him in the role, and he completely vanishes into it. The rest of the cast include the likes of Timothy Bottoms, Lindsay Crouse, David Strathairn and Danny Glover as the various scientists, though Bottoms plays the main one who bonds with Charlie, and he does fine, being the typical 'nerd with a good heart' but Lone eclipses him.
The film also does a good job capturing the frigid and lonely landscapes of the Arctic region, with plenty of snow covered vistas, wide chasms and pastel blue skies, very much contrasting an ancient natural world with the tech of the science base. The score by Bruce Smeaton also captures a similar vibe, going for a very ethnictribal sound with plenty of woodwind, and comes off as both touching yet also complementary, and never too obnoxious or grand to upstage the story or the actual emotions. In fact, it actually reminded me a lot of Jerry Goldsmith's work.
Honestly, this is a pretty cut and dry affair; if you're looking for a moving little drama of clashing worlds with an incredible title performance, 'Iceman' is an easy recommend. However, suspension of disbelief may have to be pushed further to swallow its somewhat goofy premise and science.
Review by ThatMOVIENut from the Internet Movie Database.