The Iceman (2012) Movie review; Michael Shannon is all wrong for this story

I was living in Asia at the time when I stumbled across the Iceman book, the previous tenant at my apartment had left it there,weeks went by before I took the time to read it, after a few pages I was hooked, this killer seemed different, he seemed to take a sadistic approach in squeezing pleasure out of his victims last moments of life.

When I finished the book in three days I watching the documentary online, the thing that struck me about Richard Kuklinski was he icy cold humour, there was a ” So what” and a ” F*ck you” wrote across his face, for a man who had killed so many people I was shocked to find myself liking him, the human mind is a wonderful thing but we can normally associate certain traits to certain individuals, for a man in Richards shoes I would have expected a crazy character or man with not a lot to say, so when the guy actually starts making sense when he talks he rewrites the script for who has come before him.

Back to film and the biggest thing that was clear was that Michael Shannon was all wrong to play Kuklinski, I love Shannon as an actor as he has the tools to create scenes with a powerful purpose, but I did not find in him the great degree of interest that I found in the book and the real man on YouTube, Shannon comes off as a uncomfortable weirdo at times, I didn’t feel the calculated meaness that was Kuklinski.

I also think the director messed up this film, at no point do you feel any real tension or danger in the film, he directs the film as if Richard is just another character in a book along with all the other characters, I would have preferred a much more meatier Richard, one that shows how his nerves when he first killed someone, what it felt like and how he experimented on ways of killing people, the film portrays what happened as nothing special, there is no balance from the norm’ to the insane, the result is Michael Shannon wandering around slicing people’s throats without any build up or back story to each event that would bring any kind of excitement or danger to the movie, as a result this makes for what is a boring movie, they have taken a very interesting story and made it dull.



4 thoughts on “The Iceman (2012) Movie review; Michael Shannon is all wrong for this story”

  1. Interesting point about Shannon. I haven’t seen this movie, but I agree that his strength lies in slow build-up to explosive bouts of rage and emotion. That’s what made Take Shelter so compelling, and Man of Steel/Premium Rush such wasted roles for him. In any case, I still want to see this for myself before writing it off completely.

  2. I’ve read everything I could find on Kuklinski over the years and I’ve seen the video interviews in the “Iceman Tapes” series. I think there were 3 in total. I was SO looking forward to this movie and it was a bit of a disappointment for me. The Kuklinski story is such an interesting “portrait” of a unique killer, it’s hard to imagine how, with so much history and so many angles with which to approach this incredible subject they could have made such a pointless movie. Look, there is no doubt that Kuklinski was a bad dude who needed to be off the street for the horrible shit he did, but there was SO MUCH to explore in this movie that would have been far more entertaining and edifying. They did a complete disservice to him with this thing. They simply got it all wrong. From the casting of Liotta as Demeo to the way they portrayed his relationship with his Barbara. This story felt like a cheaply thought out, run-of-the-mill, Hollywood crime story. It didn’t even scratch the surface of the man or the very “why” of him. It’s sad you know, this could have been an amazing movie. Reviewer is absolutely correct in his assessment. Shannon is a good actor, and of course, Liotta is always awesome, but neither one of them “felt’ right in their characters shoes. It’s worth a rental I guess, but if you are at all interested in Richard Kuklinski and how he came to be, watch the HBO series instead.

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