Anyone who watches A&E with the least amount of regularity will at one point have seen a story or special on Richard Kuklinski. He is without a doubt the most well known mob hit man in the modern era. Known to the world as the Iceman because he seemed to have no fear or conscience anyone could identify. It took many efforts and attempts to make a film based on his actions and time as a hit man but it finally happened. Cast in the role of Kuklinski was the tower presence of Michael Shannon. Shannon is a name that if you don’t already know, you should learn very quickly. He is a face you have no doubt seen, such as his role in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire or Sam Mendes movie Revolutionary Road, for which he received an Academy Award nomination.
The Iceman tells the story of a young Polish man who stumbles into the world of organized crime as a contract killer because of his knack for the trade and ability to not get caught. His ice cold demeanor helps him in this job. Tidbits of his childhood are explained which let’s one in on why he had the aptitude for the job that he did. Kuklinski loves nothing and cares for nothing except his wife and 2 daughters. When that world slowly becomes threatened things begin to go terribly wrong.
Michael Shannon is one of the best actors working and based on his past work from his big screen debut in Groundhog Day to The Iceman, he without a doubt enjoys challenging himself. He takes the character in and finds what makes him tick and preys on that. The complexity he can give is second to none in the business.
Not to be outdone is Winonna Ryder who plays Kuklinski’s wife who turns in a performance unlike she has in many years. Ryder has almost been put on the back burner in Hollywood when at one time she seemed to be headed for the very top. She has taken smaller roles and in this case truly immersed herself.
With a few surprise appearances from actors like David Shwimmer and James Franco, The Iceman has it’s truly chilling moments.
You are left with the incredible thoughts that a human could have a warped way of thinking while trying so hard to be such a loving husband and father. The Iceman, if anything, showcases Shannon’s talent, not unlike Take Shelter did for him. It won’t be long before this man’s name headlines movie marquees or better yet, he has a gold statue in his hand.