Directed by Ariel Vromen, staring Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder, Chris Evans and Ray Liotta. Based on the true life events of the famous contract killer Richard Kuklinski, who lived a double life as a family man and contract Killer.
He is named the Iceman, purely because he feels nothing when he kills a person. His only care in the world is his family and Michael Shannon’s portrayal of him clearly shows this.
Though his family suspects things may not be as they seem they are never fully aware of his other life. Though what is clear from this world of murder and contracts, loyalty is nothing, surviving is everything.
I found this film powerful and thought out, though this is no GoodFellas, though heavily drawn from, or departed or Casino, it’s strong in it’s own right as a gangster film. It deals less with the seedy underbelly of the gangster world and focuses more on the home life of The Iceman.
One subtle aspect they handled very well through out this film is the period of time this film is set in, the film film spans at least 20 years. In which time we see the various styled of the 60s, 70s, and finally the 80’s. Though there the obvious changes such as hair and clothes, there are more subtle changes like weight gains and loses. Michael Shannon manages to carry himself very well though the different ages, as the film goes on and the years pass, Shannon portrays it incredibly well even for the shortest of scenes.
Though there is a certain fluid motion that is lacking, side stories that move too fast to care about the person, there is an air of the gangster world that this seems to be missing. A certain grandeur associated with Gangsters and money. Though these are the only disappointments in an otherwise well made film.
OVERALL ****, it’s powerful, compelling and keeps you watching, though it’s missing that little spark that a true Gangster film needs.
RECOMMENDATION Shannon’s and Chis Evans performances are worth watching as well as looking in the life of a famous contract killer.