Michael Shannon will be taking to our screens this coming Friday as the evil General Zod in the upcoming Man of Steel movie but before going to see that I beg of you to go and see his incredible performance as a contract killer in the Iceman.
The Iceman: a sociopathic contract killer who earned his name due to his distinct lack of remorse is the topic of this biopic directed by Ariel Vromen.
Billed as ‘Zodiac meets Goodfellas’ the problem with this movie is that it never quite reaches the heights it targets. It does a solid and often stylish job of going through the very well established motions of such a movie but never really adds anything new to the mix.
Well nothing new other than Michael Shannon who steals the show in the lead role, giving a dominating and often chilling portrayal of the killer.
The Iceman, real name Richard Kuklinski feels emotions for one thing and that is his family and it is the conflict between his cold, brutal ‘professional life’ and his role as a loving husband and father that really brings out the best in Shannon who shifts expertly between the personalities.
Winona Ryder provides a solid performance as Kuklinski’s wife whilst Ray Liotta is on take his role as the mob boss, one he performs with expected efficiency.
Chris Evans also gives a surprising turn in the movie as Kuklinski’s associate Robert Pronge, aka ‘Mr Softy’ and his arrival on screen midway through really helps kick the movie into its final third.
I say kick before the biggest issue I had with this movie was at times the plot felt as though it had no real sense of direction. For various pieces of the film it felt very much like ‘one man shoots another, who shot another because he stole money from another who shot his mate’ and the film begins to trip over itself at times.
Though whilst the plot may get muddled the dialogue is top notch with Shannon delivering some cracking one liners from the very start of the movie which set the tone for the rest of the film.
Verdict: The Iceman never really reaches the heights it wants too but gives it a damn good go whilst Shannon steals the screen every second he’s on it in an award calibre performance.