Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Iceman

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! The Iceman...that's what I call the guy who delivers my ice.  I'm not really good with nicknames.

The Iceman – 5 out of 5

I tried to be a contract killer once…then I found out that a part of that job involves killing people and I don’t have the stomach for that. Who would have known that murder was associated with contract killing?

The Iceman is a stand alone X-men title about Bobby Drake—wait, sorry, that’s inaccurate. The Iceman is about the true story of famed contract killer Richard Kuklinski (Michael “Fucking” Shannon) and how he ended up in the business of being hired on to leave bodies in his wake and how he did it without his family finding out until he was arrested in 1986.

I’ve met quite a few people who’ve watched this one and they all raved about how awesome it was. I pretty much predicted that awesomeness would follow since Michael “Fucking” Shannon (that’s what I call him) was in it. Everything he touches with his epic and intense acting turns to cinema gold (shut up, Man of Steel haters! I liked that one a lot so my theory stands true…at least from my perspective.) Add to the fact it’s based on a true story, I had little doubts that this film was going to be great.

And it effing was!

Even as The Iceman, Shannon can still kick Superman's ass.

Straight up, the story is just great, engaging and interesting as all hell. The feats Kuklinski accomplished felt unbelievable—like something you would see in a movie (wait…it is in a movie!). The man killed over a hundred people and wasn’t caught for a long time. That’s just insane! The story is also presented in a gritty, raw way. The film’s plot is never flashy or stylized; just a dark presentation of the man who is believed to have killed Jimmy Hoffa (although that theory is never shown in the film).

They had to put sunglasses on Shannon because his stares were causing heartaches on set.

Besides having a story that is automatically interesting, the film has a stellar cast of actors making up the film. Winona Ryder plays Kuklinski’s wife and, while her presence is more used for the fact that Kuklinski had a family and was able to keep this secret from them, she performs her job nicely. She wasn’t overtly attention-grabbing but she didn’t kill the scenes she was in.

Being with a contract killer is a step up from being with Mr. Deeds.

"Okay James, the script is about--"
"I'll do it!"
 Other smaller roles were filled with familiar names like James Franco (who, apparently never sleeps because he’s in every movie that comes out) and Stephen Dorff comes out of being in e-cigarette ads to play Kuklinski’s brother. Neither role is large and each only has one scene but their interaction with Shannon and their place in the story really kept things moving and showed the depths of torment the man went through and unabashed malice Kuklinski was capable of. It only helped matters that each player did their job extremely well.

The movie also did a great job of--wait, is that David Schwimmer?!?

Wut?  Hunter S. Thompson was in this too?  How is that even possible?

Since it seems that there is a law in the world of films, Ray Liotta plays the mobster Roy Demeo that gets Kuklinski into the game of hired killings. While it is getting to the point that having Liotta play a mobster is cliché and formulaic, the scenes he shares with Shannon are fantastic. However, the real treat for me was seeing Captain America himself; Chris Evans, play a second killer that went by the name of Mr. Freezy (watch the movie, it’ll make sense) that Kuklinski essentially aligns himself with.

At this point, I wanna see Ray Liotta try to be the lead in a romantic comedy.

The role of Mr. Freezy was something unlike I’ve ever seen from Evans and it’s nice seeing him take chances on roles that you normally wouldn’t think the guy who was once Johnny Storm and in Not Another Teen Movie would take. Seeing Evans as a contract killer that rides around in a ice cream truck (see, I told you it made sense) shows how he continues to evolve as an actor.

Mr. Freezy gave up his life as a roadie for KISS to be a contract killer.

The real object that kept this movie going and made it stellar and epic is the main man himself; Michael Shannon (also referred to as Michael “Fucking” Shannon). I’ve already stated the guy is an amazing actor but this film shows you an intensity that you didn’t think was humanly possible. We already know the guy is intense—for example, whenever you hear a tension hook being played in a movie he’s in, that sound is NOT in the film’s soundtrack, Shannon’s body just naturally produces it—but the intensity he showed as Kuklinski was enough to bring chills down my spine. The real-life Kuklinski was called The Iceman for how cold he was and how he could stare down Death and make the Grim Reaper piss himself and Shannon captured that perfectly.

Damn...he even watches television in a bathrobe with an intensity that can cause
a sun to go supernova.

The Iceman is all kinds of awesome with nearly nothing holding it back in my opinion. Some may find the fact the story has a tendency to jump from one period to the next in Kuklinski’s life to be distracting but I just saw this as showing the full scope of Kuklinski's life and actions as well as an opportunity for Michael Shannon to rock some facial hair that is so badass it stops bullets and impregnates all women within a 50 meter radius.

It starts with sideburns capable of healing the sick...

Then it evolved into a mustache capable of producing clean, renewable energy...

Before taking its final form as a beard capable of great good or incredible evil...
it all depends on Shannon's mood.

With a great cast giving epic performances, a killer story (no pun intended) and Michael Shannon just being Michael Shannon with all his godly acting powers, The Iceman is a powerhouse of a movie…and I never call movies powerhouses!

1 comment:

  1. At least Winona Ryder is still getting work. Thank God for that, right?


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