Saturday, 1 March 2014

The Iceman Movie Review

The Iceman Movie Review

Director: Ariel Vromen

UK Release Date: 7th June 2013

Running Time: 106 minutes

Starring: Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder, Ray Liotta, Chris Evans, James Franco

"The Iceman" was released in 2013 and  is the chilling true story of Richard Kuklinksi.  Kuklinski was a notorious contract killer who murdered over 100 people while his wife and children were unaware of his murderous work life.  The film depicts his story and follows his relationships with his bosses and his family.

In the film Kuklinski (Michael Shannon) is seen meeting and having to work for Roy Demeo (Ray Liotta) having previously met his soon to be wife Deborah Pellicotti (Winona Ryder). He seemingly does a good job of keeping his killing separate and secret from his family life until one day he makes a mistake.  Desperate for money, the stakes are raised as he tries to keep both of his lives separate and avoid being killed or caught by the cops. 

Michael Shannon as Richard Kuklinski in The Iceman
Richard Kuklinski (Shannon) in The Iceman
Photo courtesy of Millennium Entertainment

While watching this film be prepared - the story is very shocking.  Just the idea that a man could kill over 100 people and still hold down a normal family life for so long with them not having any idea is more than enough to send shivers down anyone's spine.  The true story of Kukinski is portrayed very well in the "The Iceman" but the standout aspect of the film is the acting.  Shannon delivers an incredible cold performance as Kuklinski and likewise Ryder gives a great performance as his wife, Deborah.  Liotta's role as Roy Demeo is average. It is a typical role to play for the "Goodfellas" (1990) star.  

More impressive was Chris Evans as Mr. Freezy and also David Schwimmer as Josh Rosenthal.  Both actors are unrecognizable and portray there characters very well.  Having these two in the film and with the addition of James Franco in a very short role really adds some weight the film.  The acting performances in the film really stand out and from this perspective the film is very good.

Chris Evans as Mr. Freezy in The Iceman
Mr. Freezy (Evans) in The Iceman
Photo courtesy of Millennium Entertainment

A problem with the film was that it makes the audience feel a certain way.  By the end of the film you feel an emotional tie with Kuklinski when really we should not, as quite clearly he was not a good person.  We sympathise with him and his situation by the end of the film.  We should really be symptahising with his victims, their families and his family who knew nothing about his actions.  This was one let down with the film as it made us feel something for a charcter that we did not want to feel.  Is this good film-making?  Of course, but is it the right way to portray a true story and one of this magnitude surrounded by so much death?

Overall, the film is an interesting one to watch.  Great performances from the majority of the cast make it a real pleasure to watch and it is good to see the lead in a film given to someone who is not as well known as others.  Shannon gives an inspiring performance and is backed up by the likes of Evans and Ryder.  One perfect way to describe this film is by The Guardians Peter Bradshaw who described it as "Zodiac meets Goodfellas." Unfortunately, "The Iceman" does not reach the heights of either of these films but it is by no means a disappointment. 

M+F Reviews: 7/10

Reviewed by M+F Reviews.

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