THE ICEMAN: A REVIEW

Believe it or not one of the other Kernels got into a Sydney Film Festival screening. THE ICEMAN is an upcoming gangster/ serial killer film that looks brilliant – all the Kernels wanted to use their free ticket to this one but lucky ADAM SHEARSBY got in first – suss out his fine review below. There has been no official release date as yet but it will be coming soon – me thinks about August.

I may or may not have walked into “The Iceman” expecting a Top Gun spinoff about Val Kilmer flying an F-14, constantly worrying about OH&S and telling people they’re dangerous, playing the occasional round of volleyball topless and shooting down Migs. Needless to say, when Michael Shannon sliced some dude’s throat over nothing and didn’t play topless volleyball, I realized I may have read up on the wrong movie.

 

THE ICEMAN - Michael Shannon, Richard Kuklinski
THE ICEMAN – Michael Shannon the serial killer

 

THE ICEMAN is a crime/drama/thriller with an ensemble cast, starring Michael Shannon as Richard Kuklinski, a cold blooded Mafia contract killer, who sorts people out for cash and does the occasional one for funsies too. It’s based on a true story, in which Kuklinski is alleged to have killed over 100 people. It also stars Winona Ryder (Black Swan and a zillion other things), Chris Evans (Captain America), Ray Liotta (every gangster and cop movie made in the entire history of the world), David Schwimmer (Friends) and James Franco (127 Hours).

Michael Shannon’s performance as Kuklinski is brilliant, he plays the role perfectly. He’s towering, powerful and mesmerizing; yet you’re not too comfortable watching him. One moment, he’s a caring, loving family man who’s just trying to provide for his family. The next moment, he’s just shot some guy four times in the chest. He’s so deserving of the Iceman title, that during the screening I often felt compelled to yell out “Ice Cold!” like the guys from OutKast.

 

THE ICEMAN - Michael Shannon as Richard Kuklinski, Ray Liotta
THE ICEMAN – Michael Shannon as Richard Kuklinski, Ray Liotta

 

You’re shocked at the sociopathy and utter emotionlessness, but you’re still able to empathize with him to a certain degree. As a whole, this film was very well acted, but the rest of the cast were well and truly overshadowed by Shannon; although David Schwimmer deserves a special mention for his moustache.

The cinematography was quite good. It stuck with an overall dark and sombre tone, which helps to get you immersed in the dreary and dull setting. It’s not “fun times by the beach with old mate”; it’s “lets murder some people with Richie”. However, there were a few scenes that were so dark, I was left wondering if they had been lit by an iPhone. This doesn’t really detract from the overall experience though. The score is appropriate, though not memorable, serving to further set the mood and tone.

 

THE ICEMAN - Michael Shannon as Richard Kuklinski, Ray Liotta
THE ICEMAN – Michael Shannon as Richard Kuklinski, Ray Liotta

 

The script gets a little bit convoluted towards the end, and if you weren’t paying attention to what was going on or who people are, you could get lost. This isn’t a blockbuster action film, you will need to pay attention as it doesn’t make things too obvious. That being said, the story in itself is very unique and deserves to be told. The degree to which it has been sensationalized I don’t know, but there was a man who killed a huge amount of people, that definitely happened.

It’s unfortunate the last act wasn’t drawn out a touch more and that they didn’t use two iPhones for lighting, it could have been a great film. Regardless, THE ICEMAN is largely worth seeing for Michael Shannon’s performance, and if its the type of movie you’re into, you wont be disappointed.

I give this a 3.5/5 Pop, Lock and Dropped off to your own funeral by the Iceman.

 

3 and a Half Pops