Environmental Film Reviews

Ice on Fire’

Leila Conners’ follow-up to “The 11th Hour” continues to spread the alarm about climate change but this time offers concrete solutions.

Twelve years ago, Leonardo DiCaprio teamed up with Leila Conners to blast an environmental wake-up call to the world with “The 11th Hour,” warning of the dire consequences of unchecked climate change. More than a decade later, the political leaders most able to do something continue to ignore the issue, but while the cataclysmic effects of global warming become ever clearer, scientists and significant swathes of the public are trying to make a difference. That’s the focus of “Ice on Fire,” a deeply conventional though attractive documentary designed to reinforce just how bad things are getting while offering hope by concentrating on realistic proposals that can reign in climate change and even reverse its effects. Premiering at Cannes in advance of its June 11 launch on HBO, the film will likely garner a decent viewership via the network’s streaming platforms.

Where “The 11th Hour” sought to frighten audiences into action by showing the consequences of doing nothing, “Ice on Fire” takes a different tack, relying heavily on predictably beautiful drone shots of pristine landscapes to remind us what we have to lose, interspersed with scientists and activists talking about what can be done to preserve our planet. Occasionally DiCaprio’s voice is heard reinforcing points in the manner of a sententious schoolmaster lecturing children, but fortunately these interjections are sporadic, notwithstanding the obvious importance of a Leonardine presence to boost interest. Overall the documentary is rather too predictably structured, raising the alarm, then offering a solution, and then repeating the formula, though Conners and the producers make the correct calculation that dire warnings without a corrective course of action lead to hopelessness rather than vital social and political engagement.

Read more at Variety

Official Site: https://www.hbo.com/documentaries/ice-on-fire