In the 1960s, Richard Kuklinski is working as a porn film lab tech until his mob bosses persuade him to change his career into that of a contract killer. For years, Kuklinski gains a reputation for cold blooded professionalism even as he raises a family who are kept in the dark about his true career. Unfortunately, mob politics ultimately forces him to secretly work independently with the psychopathic Robert 'Mr. Freezy' Pronge. As much as Kuklinski tries to keep his lives separate, circumstances and his own weaknesses threaten a terrible collision as the consequences of his choices finally catch up to him. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
The Iceman a biopic based on New Jersey hit-man Richard Kuklinski who managed to murder at least 100 and possibly up to 250 victims in a span of almost 40 years.
Michael Shannon giving a strong performance as the hit-man with the calculating and creepy demeanor of a psychopathic killer with no conscience who can still flip the switch back to his life in the suburbs with wife and kids. Yet a shade of subtlety and pathos in his portrayal of Kuklinski that we can actually identify and take some interest in his struggles. With the exception of Winona Ryder who fits seamlessly as naive suburban housewife (and the 2 daughters) very unlikely to feel sympathy for the victims with the exception of one senseless killing. Mostly wiseguys, mostly scumbags. We're not all that mad at Kuklinski for the nasty stuff he's doing.
Ray Liotta a can't miss as a minor mob boss, all the acting first rate and the characters real. But the Iceman story is told without ice and without chasers, a gangster flick without sentiments real or phony thrown in. Viewers hoping to draw insights or conclusions from all the dead bodies might end up disappointed. The 'Iceman' moniker from his practice of freezing bodies to confuse the time of death.
My biggest question for Kuklinski would be, how do you get away with so many murders, so many different methods, places, people over a span of almost 40 years? In the true crime shows the perp makes one little slip in his only perfect crime and ends up in the slam.
The movie is what it is because I don't think there's all that much complex or new in a Kuklinski to learn. Abused growing up, turns to sociopathic super bully behavior as an adult to get what he wants and to survive. No genius but smart enough to know when to turn it down out in the suburbs. Kuklinski was an usher at mass every Sunday. They should have included that in the movie.
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