Opening at the Angelkia (Dallas) 5/10
Review By: Mut Asheru
Let’s just start off with the facts. THE ICEMAN is a good movie. Direction, script and casting are all a go making THE ICEMAN a movie you won’t mind spending your cash on.
Directed by Ariel Vromen, the film is based on Anthony Bruno’s novel The Iceman: The True Story of a Cold-Blooded Killer, about convicted killer Richard Kuklinski (Micheal Shannon), who claimed to have carried out over 100 hits during his mob tenure and a couple prior to.
The thing you won’t find in this film is a decent explanation for why Kaklinsky was a cold-blooded killer. Child abuse is alluded to but there’s no concrete evidence to the fact shared in the film. Shannon is adept at making the killer seem “a decent human” unless you get in his way. Much like a contract killer is supposed to be I guess. Vromen and Morgan Land’s screenplay does little in the way of capturing Kaklinsky’s formative years except for a brief jail visit to his murderer brother played by Stephen Dorff.
Dark and volatile, the movie hits in that while portraying Kaklinsky as a cold-blooded murderer the audience gets to take a look at his environment and the murderers that hired him. Kaklinsky purported to have a code of not killing women and children whereas his mob bosses (as portrayed) didn’t give a “f” about gender or age. So who’s more cold-blooded?
Several killing montages and loving family scenes into the film it is apparent that we’re viewing a film that is technically executed perfectly.
Michael Shannon was dark, brooding and menacing in all the right places; expertly taking his character through zero to over-the-top emotional outbursts…then back to zero again. As “The Iceman” he warmed up the screen. Winona Ryder who always made my skin crawl as an actress was good here as Mrs. Kaklinsky the ignorant and loving spouse. Ray Liotta always makes a good mob anything and his turn here as lower level mob boss Roy DeMeo is no exception. He appropriately adds more sizzle to the film when on screen. While Chris Evans (couldn’t really recognize him in the film) as Mr. Freezy the original iceman and later sidekick to Kaklinsky for a time was well-played.
As long as you don’t go into the movie looking for a film that will change your life or offer up any kind of great explanations as to why or how someone could be so nonchalant about taking another person’s life you should be satisfied.