Monday, May 27, 2013

The Iceman (2013)

So I did get a chance to see "the Iceman" starring Michael Shannon, and directed by Ariel Vromen.  The story is based on a true story about a man who was a contract killer for the mob.  But that is over simplifying the film or the subject matter.  The movie is based on the book: The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer.

The film is also based on the HBO documentary called "Conversations with a Killer". The man's name was Richard Kuklinski and he was a contract killer.  He claimed to have killed over hundred people, but some authorities say that his body count is much more since Kuklinski was also a sociopath.  I have to say that the film gives a chilling account on how he preformed the murders and how he lead a dual life as a family man and a killer.   Michael Shannon gives a wonderful performance as Kuklinski, and the movie is all on him.  But the supporting characters here also need their due.   , , ,, and an unrecognizable all give their best here.

The film isn't easy to watch, but it is Shannon's performance that makes this film, and I really like the way he looked and presented himself.  Winona Ryder performance is so good that you really do believe she loves her man so much that she does not see his imperfections.  In one scene where Kuklinski goes into a rage Ryder is convincing as the loyal wife, yet we the audience see the pent up rage that lies in Kuklinski, yet she is hopeless in love with him.  It is only at the end that she and her daughters realize what a monster Richard really is.

Now the only problem I did have with the film is the way Kuklinski is caught.  In the film and if you don't want to know I'll say that this will be a spoiler alert, so read no further if you don't want to know.

But in the end of the film Kuklinski's daughter is hurt, and somehow we find out it was done on purpose.  Now I'm not too sure about this but I don't believe that was how Kuklinski was caught.  Yes it was through an undercover cop who posed as a fellow hit man, but it was through police work and several mistakes that Kuklinski did that got him arrested.  I know the filmmakers did this to make the story more dramatic, but I really think that it would have been better to see how this cold blooded killer made mistakes because of his own delusional way of thinking instead of putting a child in jeopardy.  IT's dramatic, and it makes the point that Kuklinski gets emotional thereby making mistakes and getting arrested, but I do think it would have been much more interesting seeing how Kuklinski made his mistakes all because of his sociopathic mind.

That's my only problem with the film, and I would not have known it had I not seen the documentary on Kuklinski.  The film is well shot, and gives you that fell of the 1970's.  The film was shot in Detroit and  Shreveport Louisiana and it still looks like it was shot in the 70's in NJ.  The art work is very convincing and should be applauded.

I enjoyed the movie and really thought it was well done.  Very convincing performances by all, and a film that should have got wider distribution.  If you get a chance and you like crime drama, and true crime novels I don't think you'll be disappointed.   Also the performances are worth the admission price. 

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