Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Iceman

Movie Name: The Iceman
Year of Release: 2012
Director: Ariel Vromen
Stars: Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder, Chris Evans, Ray Liotta, David Schimmer, John Ventimiglia, Ryan O'Nan, Danny A. Abeckaser, James Franco, Stephen Dorff, Megan Sherrill, McKaley Miller
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6

"The Iceman" introduces us to the real story of Richard Kuklinski, an apparently cold and aloof man, who though capable of romantic behaviors, had psychotic moments just as frequently, where he simply killed people ruthlessly. Kuklinski marries his sweetheart Deborah, who is oblivious to that side of his personality, and they start raising a family in New Jersey. Kuklinski is taken under the wing of a local criminal and embarks on a new trade, one of a hired killer. He becomes very successful in this venture, until problems with his employer arise, which force him to find alternatives means of income, which may jeopardize his family's safety.
Relative newcomer Ariel Vromen tackles the gruesome story of Richard Kuklinski with an attention to detail that is commendable, however the film lacks a spark to a story that, by all rights, is dark and horrific. Focusing more on the details and the process of Kuklinski's "venture", director Ariel Vromen leaves the dynamics of his family life strangely underdeveloped. The film has shades of Martin Scorsese's "Goodfellas", but where this film brought the plethora of characters to life, in "The Iceman", characters such as Deborah, played with restraint by Winona Ryder, feel under defined (the same can be said of her relationship with Kuklinski). The film really benefits from Michael Shannon's indelible performance as the title character - his performance is strong and riveting, and he makes his presence menacing just by a muted glance. The film benefits from a fantastic production design, a strong cast, the only faltering element being a screenplay that needs further depth. An interesting film nonetheless worth checking out.