Age of Ice (2014) poster

Age of Ice (2014)


USA. 2014.


Director/Screenplay/Visual Effects Supervisor – Emile Edwin Smith, Producer – David Michael Latt, Photography – Richard Vialet, Music – Isaac Sprintis, Production Design – Nikki Sass. Production Company – The Asylum.


Barton Bund (Jack Jones), Bailey Spry (Amber Jones), Jules Hartley (Diane Jones), Owais Ahmed (Tariq), Joe Cipriano (Dylan Jones), John Cragen (Captain), Yaron Urbas (Captain Kawar), Ali Amine (Moshi), Wasim No’mani (Captain Mubarak), Wilfried Capet (Simon), Revon Yousif (Lieutenant Majali)


American architect Jack Jones and his family are on holiday in Cairo when the city is struck by a freak earthquakes and a snowstorm. This is due to volcanic instability in the Middle Eastern region, which has caused temperatures to rapidly plummet. Aided by the Jordanian guide Tariq, Jack, his family and others try to get through the new Ice Age rapidly overrunning the area to rendezvous with a US naval rescue on the shores of the Dead Sea.

The disaster movie was big in the 1970s. During the latter half of the 2000s through the 2010s and 20s, it has wound its way down to become the province of the Syfy Channel and other channels. In this time, there have been a great many cheap and usually formulaic efforts churned out. (For a more detailed listing of these, see my essay Disaster Movies).

The low-budget production company The Asylum, mostly known for their mockbusters and deliberately ridiculous killer shark films, have dabbled in a number of these with the likes of 2012: Doomsday (2007), 2012 Supernova (2009), Titanic II (2009), Arctic Apocalypse (2019), 2012: Ice Age (2011), 100° Below 0 (2012), 500 MPH Storm (2013), Airplane vs Volcano (2013), Asteroid vs Earth (2014), San Andreas Quake (2015), Geo-Disaster (2017), Oceans Rising (2017), Apocalypse of Ice (2020), Asteroid-a-Geddon (2020), Collision Earth (2020), Meteor Moon (2020), 4 Horsemen: Apocalypse (2022), Moon Crash (2022), Titanic 666 (2022), 20.0 Megaquake (2022) and Doomsday Meteor (2023).

Age of Ice is fairly typical of the disaster movies that The Asylum put out in the 2010s. Emile Edwin Smith’s scenario doesn’t bear any serious meteorological analysis – I failed to quite follow the line of reasoning that went from what look like vast icebergs suddenly erupting at sea, what we are told is volcanological activity and how this results in sudden onset sub-zero conditions in the Middle East. Nor for that matter how through the course of a single day we can go from falling temperatures to Arctic conditions where the snow is piled so high it covers the Pyramids (which rise to 481 feet). But then The Asylum’s disaster movies are never exactly been scientifically believable.

Barton Bund,, Jules Hartley, Bailey Spry and Joe Cipriano in Cairo as freak weather conditions hit in Age of Ice (2014)
Father Barton Bund (r) and family (second from left to right) daughter Jules Hartley, wife Bailey Spry and son Joe Cipriano in Cairo as freak weather conditions hit

Age of Ice is formulaic as The Asylum’s disaster movies are. The protagonists are a generic American nuclear family struggling to get to safety in the midst of a vast disaster, joined by assorted people they pick up along the way. There are pieces of mini-drama that have little to do with the big action but seem designed solely to pump up the dramatics – particularly superfluous is a sequence where the party have to use the tow bar on an SUV to abseil down a cliff.

The one thing you would expect with the film being directed by one of The Asylum’s regular visual effects people is effects that are better than usual but that is not quite the case. There are some not too bad sequences – the opening scenes with fighter planes crashing on overturning aircraft carriers, a cargo plane sinking into the ice – versus other set-pieces that are down at a much more ropy level. Also rather amusing is The Asylum’s typical corner cutting where none of the film was shot in Egypt – we have a few second unit pick-ups of Cairo street scenes but all those involving the actors have been filmed in a studio and green-screened in against shots of The Pyramids and the like.

Director Emile Edwin Smith has previously worked in visual effects since the 1990s and as a visual effects supervisor on numerous films for The Asylum. Smith has made several other films for The Asylum as director with Mega Shark vs Mecha Shark (2014), Flight World War II (2015) and Ice Sharks (2016).

Trailer here

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