Thin Ice (♦♦♦♦)

In Thin Ice star Greg Kinnear as Michael (Mickey) Prohaska, Alan Arkin as Gorvy Hauer, Billy Crudup as Randy and Lea Thompson as Mickey’s ex-wife.

Michael Prohaska is an insurance agent who owns a two-man company in Kenosha, Wisconsin. During a trip to an insurance convention, Mickey recruits another agent named Bob and agrees to give him 5% in sales commissions. Back in Kenosha, Bob meets an absent-minded old man named Gorvy Hauer who has a house full of old things that belonged to his sister. On Bob and Mickey’s urgings, Gorvy buys an insurance policy for his house. Mickey wants to take advantage of Gordy, but soon things spiral out of control when Gorvy has to go to take care of his dying sister, leaving a precious fiddle behind in his attic.

This movie delivers a few good laughs brought about by situations that appear silly at the time, but no doubt it’s the ending that packs a big punch. I liked the script and the performances, and despite inevitable comparisons to Fargo due to the setting and double crossings, I found it funnier, darker and more likeable than Fargo. It’s a caper movie with a stylized plot; though not as elegant as Ocean’s Eleven, it’s certainly more believable.

As Mickey says near the end of the movie, “Beware of anything with strings attached”. That’s nowhere truer than in this film.