No Moral Consequences
Starring: ** No Moral Consequences **
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 94 minutes
Distributor: ATO Pictures
Director: Jill Sprecher
Executive Producer: Alan Arkin
Producer: Mary Frances Budig, Elizabeth
Redleaf, Christine Kunewa
Writer: Jill Sprecher, Karen Sprecher
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New York, NY 10005
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Greg Kinnear stars as shady insurance salesman Mickey Prohaska. Mickey’s always ready with a lie or bogus statistic designed to trick people into purchasing insurance. He comes across an old farmer named Gorvy Hauer (Alan Arkin) who wants to insure a violin he claims is worth $25,000, but soon Mickey is led to believe it’s really worth over a million dollars. Desperate for money to pay an array of bills and believing that Gorvy is too addled to really notice, Mickey winds up in a scheme to trade the valuable violin for a lookalike. He winds up involved with a smalltime criminal named Randy (Billy Crudup). Randy winds up killing Gorvy by hitting him in the head with a hammer, then blackmails Mickey by taking his picture to prove he was there at the crime.
Events spin out of control from there. Mickey and Randy have trouble disposing of the body. At the same time, twists and double-crosses pile up around the violins. A surprise ending reveals even more twists. Ultimately, however, the final scam doesn’t really add up in the details. This problem makes the movie fall apart on its poorly planned logic. The problem is compounded by the fact that wrongdoing wins without consequences and fraud is allowed to continue.
THIN ICE has fun with its lead actors, as Kinnear and Arkin reunite after their Oscar-nominated romp in LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE. However, it lacks the charm of that earlier film and isn’t dark enough to satisfy fans of its obvious influence – the Coen Brothers movie FARGO. Despite the immoral ending, the movie is relatively restrained in some forms of immorality, with one brief apparent murder and brief implied adulterous sex. Even so, Billy Crudup’s sleazy Randy bursts into several comedic and highly profane rages, which is jarring compared to the rest of the movie. Finally, the movie’s winking and laughing at doing anything, no matter how dishonest, to gain money and commit fraud should leave a sour taste in the mouths of most viewers, especially media-wise viewers.
Ultimately, THIN ICE has too thin a plot and the characters are too cold to gain the viewer’s sympathy. It’s only appropriate for adults, but not highly recommended even on an artistic level due to its contrived plot.
THIN ICE has some fun with its lead actors, but it lacks charm and dramatic weight. Ultimately, THIN ICE has too thin a plot and the characters are too cold to gain the viewer’s sympathy. Eventually, THIN ICE falls apart toward the end, which also concludes on an immoral note.