REVIEW: THE ICEMAN
SYNOPSIS: Inspired by actual events, The Iceman follows notorious contract killer Richard Kuklinski (Academy Award® nominee Michael Shannon) from his early days in the mob until his arrest for the murder of more than 100 men. Appearing to be living the American dream as a devoted husband and father; in reality Kuklinski was a ruthless killer-for-hire. When finally arrested in 1986, neither his wife nor daughters have any clue about his real profession.
REVIEW: Co-written and directed by Ariel Vroman, this portrayal of the notorious “Iceman – contract killer” is arguably one of the best efforts to-date. There is nothing about Richard Kuklinski, the notorious cold-blooded killer, that is worth glorifying or celebrating. However, with obvious care, precision and tact Vroman does a great job of letting the great cast bring the brutality and repulsive behavior of the characters to the big screen.
Michael Shannon (Premium Rush, 2012), has the uncanny voice and face of a mass murderer and gives one of the most riveting performances of his career to-date. He gets inside the warped mind of Richard Kuklinski better than any actor could, as his portrayal sends palpable shivers with each grizzly execution he carries out. It was as if it’s just another day at the office, for Kuklinski and Shannon, portrays this well. Furthermore, Shannon never lets us forget that this guy [Kuklinski] is a menace whom would have made a great poker player, had he not turned to a life of crime.
Winona Ryder, with her best performance in years, plays a superb mob wife whom never seems to acknowledge her husband’s occupation the entire time. It seems as though she simply didn’t know or didn’t want to know what was going on in her husband’s creepy life. She flawlessly portrayed the innocent stay-at-home-mom and bystander with absolute perfection. Likewise, Ray Liotta (Mobster Roy Demeo) seems to have his best screen role since the film GoodFellas, with a paranoid and ruthless demeanor throughout the movie. Demeo of course has his ruthless lieutenants, one of which is played by David Schwimmer (Friends – TV series). Schwimmer, seems a little awkward in the “killer” role, however, it was difficult to determine whether this was by design or simply discomfort. Two somewhat brief appearances helped the film move along quite well. One is that of veteran “Goodfella-type” Robert Davi (Kill the Irishman, 2011), who shows up as one of the many ruthless bad guys in the flick, giving the film that extra feel of organized crime bosses, dominating. And secondly there is Chris Evans (Captain America, 2011) playing a hipper version of the Iceman. Very much hyped up, cunning and calculating.
The film, which covers a twenty-two-year span, effectively covers the mean attributes of the story without risk of boredom to audiences. Furthermore, the brutality of the killings didn’t encompass any glamour, sexual or sadistic amusement on Kuklinski,s part. Hence, the movie gives what could be considered an honest portrayal of a very sad story in our country’s history. I certainly believe that three and a half out of five stars make the movie well worth seeing.
By Movi-Man Stan
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