It seems like every year a solid, stylish crime flick comes out and achieves a certain amount of praise. Last year, we had Killing Them Softly and this year we have biopic, The Iceman.
Starring Michael Shannon as Richard Kuklinski, a contract killer and family man who keeps both his family and his business separately, it tells the story of his life from the start of his contract killings to his arrest in 1986.
What I really enjoyed about this film, is the juxtaposition between Kuklinski's business and his family. They separated this to such a devastating effect. It worked terrifically well because it made you care about his family despite their ignorance in the situation. It was able to divulge us into the film despite us not liking the main character, Kuklinski.
Kuklinski is portrayed amazingly well by Michael Shannon. He really brought the sadistic side of him out, it was harrowing to watch at times because he really was 'The Iceman'. He almost has no feelings. Shannon's face was completely blank despite the vulgar things he was doing. The fact he was so nonchalant about his murders just added depth to his characters. From his first kill to his last, he just didn't care. He had no remorse - he was just doing it to help his family. It was truly disgusting to watch and credit has to be given to Shannon for that.
The supporting cast were just as good, bar one man in particular. David Schwimmer was cast as a gangster. SERIOUSLY? Ross from Friends?! He couldn't have pulled it off no matter what he did. At every word, every movement he was still comedic. The audience were laughing, despite the seriousness of the scene. It was truly awful casting. Despite this, Chris Evans puts in a great shift as Freezy - another contract killer that works with Kuklinski. His eccentric nature during his killings almost put Kuklinski to shame. He truly was a sick individual. Also, Winona Ryder puts in a good performance as Kuklinski's poor, ignorant wife. She's the main draw for me to this film. She makes us care about what's happening, because you don't want her to be hurt.
Despite being a solid crime film, though, I just felt that it was slightly missing something to make it a classic. It didn't have the depth that comes with true crime greats such as Scarface and Goodfellas.
It was a faithful biopic though and an enjoyable film.