As far as biopics go we do have a lot but only a few that you actually remember. Of which the ones I remember are The Aviator, Gandhi, Malcolm X & Walk the line & The Social Network. Most of them have been undoubtedly altered to a bit to match its celluloid counterparts and some would end up being a mangled mess. Well The Iceman is nowhere close to that but it does have its flaws.
Helmed by Ariel Vromen, The Iceman
is the semi-biopic of Richard Kuklinski, the infamous contract killer who’s killed more than 100 people. He gets name as he 1. is a Cold hearted killer completely devoid of emotions 2. He freezes his victims so as not to identify the time of their death. Yet the movie makes us root for this sociopath. I’d have felt good had it been true that Richard Kuklinski was actually a man to root for.
The whole thing was on Michael Shannon’s shoulders and he did splendidly well. The first time I’d seen him was in Kangaroo Jack as the badass antagonist and since then we’ve all came to know him, much recently in Boardwalk Empire, Premium Rush and as the unforgettably aggressive General Zod in Man Of Steel. The same of the aggression could be seen here as Richard Kuklinski and at the same time he’s well portrayed the role of a loving father and who’s ‘everything’ would be his family. Winona Ryder’s role as Kuklinski’s wife felt naive throughout the movie, yes her character demanded that kinda credulousness but it could have been more convincing. Chris Evans’ unrecognizable role as Richard’s partner in crime Mr. Freezy was really cool and proves that he has the chops for character roles. Ray Liota plays an antagonist here but we all know he won’t come upto the sheer evilness maleficence Kuklinski himself. I was surprised to see James Franco & David Schwimmer in a minuscule roles as well.
Much of the problems that The Iceman had comes from its editing, writing and the overall tone it was taken. The movie was made more commercially, accessible to casual viewers. Had it been a bit made more dramatic it would have lost some audience but at the gain of more acclaim. Richard Kuklinski’s backstory wasn’t fleshed out. We do get glimpses of his brother but we are left to assume what all happened to him in the past via the short argument that they have. In the scene that shortly followed there were bits of what could have happened when they were young but it seemed chopped off. Who knows it could be added to a Directors Cut or something. Then again, I don’t think I’d watch this again. The the way the movie progressed is another issue showing the time lapse through Kuklinski’s bizarre facial hair.
The Iceman also suffers from the movie treatment often twisting the real Kuklinski’s movie counterpart to a more likeable family man where in real life he was an abusive husband. A more commercial resemblance would be Michael Mann’s Public Enemies which was much more entertaining than The Iceman. All said and done, The Iceman is in no way a laboring watch. It does entertain and all thanks to Michael Shannon’s impeccable acting.