As Cold as Ice
Richard Kuklinski (Michael Shannon) to his wife Deborah (Winona Ryder) and their daughters is a loving husband and father who has a good job demands respect but takes care of them. What his family doesn't know is that Kuklinski is a killer, a man with a burning rage who ends up working as a hitman for mob man Roy Demeo (Ray Liotta). When due to internal mob affairs they want to let him go Kuklinski starts working with Mr. Freezy (Chris Evans) another killer. But it is only a matter of time before Kuklinski's two lives come crashing together.
Prior to watching "The Iceman" I had never heard of Richard Kuklinski and in truth the only thing I knew was that this movie was about a real life killer. I didn't know that this Kuklinski fellow was a killer who ended up working for the mob or lead a double life with his wife and children having no idea about what he really did for a living. And the sad thing is that when "The Iceman" was over I didn't know a great deal more as whilst a potted history of Kuklinski "The Iceman" feels like you need to know his story to fill in the gaps.
What I mean is that "The Iceman" whilst starting with Kuklinski in prison quickly jumps to the start and the first 5 scenes see him on a date with Deborah, killing a guy after playing pool for being rude, working in the porn industry, married with a child and then employed by Demeo. During those 5 scenes we meet various characters but it all feels like it is in a rush to get to the next scene and hasn't got the time of day to really expand on the characters and what is going on. It is a shame as we never really get to know how Kuklinski felt about on one hand killing and on the other being a family man.
Despite this Richard Kuklinski is well played by Michael Shannon who manages to play him with plenty of menace yet also giving him a strange sense of moral basis. And Liotta lets be honest is perfectly cast as a mob boss with Robert Davi also well cast for similar reasons as they both have the right looks. Unfortunately when it comes to David Schwimmer as a mob man well he acts the part well but he doesn't look the part and unfortunately looks a little too comical for a movie which is desperate to be mean and moody.
What this all boils down to is that "The Iceman" could have been really good but in trying to tell the story of Kuklinski it ends up rushing its way through failing to give it the depth which it needs to be anything more than a potted history.