Movie: The Iceman
Starring: Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder, Ray Liotta, Chris Evans, James Franco and David Schwimmer
Directed by: Ariel Vromen
There is something about real life stories that when turned into films have an intriguing effect on the minds of the audience. Of course, this opinion is reserved for films that we think have been made well enough that force us to go back and read more about them. Although well made, 'The Iceman' disappointingly so, builds up well but the story of a contract killer was more interesting to read in the newspapers than it was to watch onscreen.
What's it about?
Richard Kuklinski (Michael Shannon) is a devoted family man, married to Deborah (Winona Ryder) and has two daughters with her. Providing an extremely comfortable life to his loved ones, Richard hides one major truth from them- that he is a hit man for a mafia don Roy DeMo (Ray Liotta). The incessant flow of money motivates him to keep his profession hidden from his family. With a rule as to not hurt women and children, Kuklinski lets go of a young girl who witnesses him notoriously killing someone. Roy fires him from his job when he gets to know about the same. So to continue giving his family all the luxuries of life, Kuklinski joins forces with Robert Pronge or Mr. Freezy (Chris Evans) who murders people and then inhumanly cuts them into pieces and stores them in his ice-cream truck amongst other places before dumping them off. The 'Iceman' murders become famous with the newspapers and news channels heating things up even more. The bi-polar nature of Kuklinski belatedly comes out in the open when he is finally arrested by the police.
There was not a moment of boredom in the film but the wow factor was definitely missing from the proceedings. Having a contract killer who has murdered over a hundred people without his family's knowledge and whose stark confessions while in prison generated a huge amount of interest; and then showing this dramatic life and turn of events matter-of-factly was a downer. We expected Ariel Vromen to spice this up or dramatise the sequences a little more just to magnify the effect 'Iceman murders' had on the people in the 80s. Barring a single sequence that shows the news headlines and TV reports that make up for the title of the film, it was completely ruled out from the script.
Michael Shannon looked evil from the very first frame and his expressions were ice-cold as required. The detachment he brought out in his performance is commendable. We especially applaud his efficacy in the last scene where he is in the jail as an old man answering questions. Winona Ryder as Deborah does nothing to disappoint us too. With Michael Shannon taking charge, she does her job as the supporting role well. Ray Liotta who left an impression on us in 'Killing Them Softly', manages to do the same in this one too. There is a lot of expectation from Chris Evans’ character as Mr. Freezy but sadly that doesn't build up so well. Another bummer is David Schwimmer as Josh Rosenthal who looks unwanted and lost in the otherwise neat setting.
An enthralling experience is interrupted by a weaker script that ends up making it a rather lukewarm affair.
What to do?
The life story of a contract killer could have been served piping hot in a theatre near you this weekend, instead we think 'The Iceman' doesn't leave you with the right amount of chills. A strict one time watch.
in.com rating- 2.5/5
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