If there’s anyone who can pull off a portrayal of the cold, imposing and ruthless hitman said to have killed over 100 people it’s Michael Shannon.
The inner-tension and raw anger that seems to emanate from his screen presence can make a film; he was certainly the best thing about Man of Steel. Indeed Shannon has certainly been typecast into these kind of roles but considering he does it so well I won’t complain.
There’s nothing spectacular about the plotline to Iceman but the fact that it’s based on a true story more than makes it gripping viewing.
Shannon plays Richard Kuklinski – a rather troubled chap who appears to his wife (Winona Ryder) and children to be a simple man involved in banking but is actually a contract killer for the mob. However once his boss (Ray Liotta) gets into trouble with the wrong people Kuklinski finds himself out of work, and his decision to carry on working on the side results in a number of people being rubbed up the wrong way.
Whilst Shannon’s powerful performance is certainly worth meriting, the Iceman is let down elsewhere. Ariel Vromen’s screenplay does little to accurately convey the twenty-something years that pass (nor does Shannon’s hair) and, considering the subject matter, that is a disappointment.
So better then to focus on the acting on display than the weak script, and you might also want to avoid direct eye contact with David Schwimmer’s wig, it’s got a dodgy back story of its own.
The Iceman is not a vintage gangster thriller or even a particularly impressive biopic but the dark magnetism of Michael Shannon’s performance certainly makes it worth a rental.