Review: The Iceman (2012)

the iceman poster

Richard Kuklinski (Michael Shannon) meets and marries the woman of his dreams, Deborah Pellicotti (Winona Ryder). Kuklinski claims to have worked for Disney, though it comes out much later that he was actually in the porn business. One night the tapes are not ready, and Roy Demeo (Ray Liotta) and his crew comes calling. Kuklinski promises to have the tapes ready, and goes for a meeting with Demeo the next day where Demeo asks him to come and work for him after shutting down the porn business. He feels that Kuklinski is cold and efficient, and asks him to murder a homeless man as proof. Kuklinski does as he is told, and Demeo keeps the gun as evidence.

the iceman getting into business

Kuklinski now works exclusively for Demeo, and is not to take jobs on the side. Kuklinski is happy with the arrangement, and becomes a renowned and respected assassin in his field. Kuklinksi and Deborah now have two children together, Betsy and Anabel (McKaley Miller). Kuklinksi gives his wife everything she has ever wanted and his daughters are in private Catholic school. Life seems to be going well for Kuklinski. However, trouble breeds on the horizon when Demeo has problems with one of his guys and when Kuklinski refuses to kill a seventeen-year-old girl at one of his jobs. Robert “Mr Freezy” Pronge (Chris Evans) tells Demeo that he had to sort out the girl, and ultimately the mob politics lead to Kuklinski becoming unemployed. He is not allowed to take jobs on the side but desperate to stay in the game, he is good at what he does.

the iceman stiarcase

“You see the Iceman crying?” – Richard Kuklinski

Kuklinksi becomes bitter and increasingly angry, scaring his wife and children. He needs to get back into the game or he will lose his mind. He visits his brother who makes the ominous prediction that Kuklinski will end up in prison just like him, with his family writing him off completely. Kuklinski still works very hard to keep his personal and his professional life separate, but since being laid off caution is thrown in the wind. He notices the need to get back to work in fear of scaring his family off, which means the world to him. Striking a deal with Mr Freezy, Kuklinski is now the assassin behind the veil, the person no one knows about. Freezy pulls the jobs, Kuklinski executes the targets, and they both get paid. Together they will then cut up the victim and freeze them, making it impossible for authorities to determine time of death.  It goes without say that Demeo cannot know that Kuklinski is working with Mr Freezy. Slowly but surely though people start talking, and Demeo starts asking questions, and just like that Kuklinski’s perfectly created façade starts to crack, and he works hard to pull it all together again and remain in control.

the iceman kuklinski at work

“I only feel alone around other people. Couldn’t be truer.” – Mr Freezy

Will Demeo figure out that Kuklinski is working with Mr Freezy, despite his strict ban on working with others? Will Kuklinski be able to keep his family life and business life separated, as much as he wants to? Will his wife and children remain clueless as to his daily activities? Will his past deeds eventually catch up to him?

GRADE 6.5Michael Shannon was completely amazing to watch, and is probably what saved this movie in the long run. Not that it was bad; there were just a few issues with it. I also enjoyed Chris Evans, his character gave me a bit of a sadistic giggle, though there is really nothing that should actually be amusing in here, you can’t help but find the moments where it happens. Michael Shannon played the family man role down pat, and got the icy and sinister side of his character down too. Ray Liotta was decent for what he did, but there were moments where it simply just didn’t work. The style that the film was shot in was good for what it portrayed. The plot was laid out just fine, and it was not an issue following what happened. However, I really feel that more effort could have gone into wrapping the film up at the end; it left a lot to be desired. It just felt like a bit of a missed opportunity for me, which was really a pity seeing as the cast was fine, and the story was interesting.

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34 thoughts on “Review: The Iceman (2012)

  1. theipc says:

    My Warmest and Fondest JB,

    I know you don’t put spoilers in here but I actually didn’t read this as I still want to see it and go in cold. I like Michael Shannon a lot 🙂

    Your Biggest Fan,

    SSC

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  2. keith7198 says:

    Great Review! This is a movie I was really excited about but everyone seems to share the same criticisms. For that reason I have back-burnered and and still need to watch. I do see where Michael Shannon could carry the film. He is a phenomenal actor.

    Like

  3. caragale says:

    Chris Evans is in this?! Had no idea! Sounds like he and Michael Shannon are the only redeeming bits, huh? I doubt I’ll end up checking this out…but good review!! P.S. Random, but have you ever seen that video of Michael Shannon reading a dramatic sorority email? WIN.

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  4. jjames36 says:

    Totally agreed, Zoe. The acting is very good. But The Iceman never really makes us care about Kuklinski or the people he victimizes, including his family. Which is a real shame. The flick had the cast to be memorable – especially if it had focsued on Ryder’s character more.

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