Whenever a movie is based on a true story, the least the audience expects is good execution. The Iceman is a decently- executed film and unless you know the intricate details of Richard Kuklinski’s life, the movie looks good and solid. Though a lot of minute details have been left out by Ariel Vromen, the movie is quite intense and gritty. However, the entire movie seems to rest on one man’s shoulder. That man is the one who plays the protagonist. Michael Shannon. The movie is the tale of serial killer – Richard Kuklinski. The man is believed to have committed over a hundred murders. When he was convicted by the police, thanks to some nasty backstabbing, his wife and children saw the other side of this man ’cause they had no clue that he was a serial killer until then.
The story is a run-of-the-mill gangster story that includes a whole lot of shooting and killing. Richard worked for Roy Demeo (played by Ray Liotta) for dubbing of porn flicks before the latter hired Richard to work for him as a hitman. Things go smooth for Richard and his family. He moves with his wife Deborah (Winona Ryder) and kids to a much plusher house and provide them with a life of luxury. Things go awry when Roy decommissions him. Richard, thence goes on a killing spree, this time partnering with Mr. Freezy (Chris Evans). One thing leads to another and he finally gets nabbed by the police. The story is pretty straightforward and Vromen has not really toyed with the storyline but he did manage to remove the extreme violent parts in the story. The film is quite intense and gritty with each character doing justice to his/her role. The script could have been much stronger and the direction could have been a lot better. For whatever loose ends that were there, Michael Shannon made up for it. Impeccable would be an understatement for the way he acted in the movie. The others also played their part brilliantly. Winona Ryder was particularly stupendous throughout the film. I did expect Ray Liotta to have a much stronger role but he, nonetheless, acted brilliantly.
Though this may be one of those typical “gangster” movies with a decent script and direction, what made it worth the watch was the acting. Michael Shannon’s riveting performance is something you should not miss.