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DVD REVIEW: The Iceman
10:18am Thursday 3rd October 2013 in Entertainments
RICHARD Kuklinski (Michael Shannon) is an underling for sadistic mob boss Roy DeMeo (Ray Liotta), doling out beatings to anyone who poses a threat to his sprawling criminal network.
Richard shows an aptitude for mindless violence, slaughtering his victims without mercy, and he becomes an invaluable cog in the underworld machine as a hit man par excellence, allegedly racking up a triple-digit body count over two decades.
Away from the bloodshed, Richard romances and eventually weds Deborah Pellicotti (Winona Ryder), who is clueless about her husband’s illegal activities.
When Richard aligns himself with another sadistic killer nicknamed Mr Freezy (Chris Evans), he jeopardises his relationship with DeMeo and the bullets and accusations fly.
Loosely inspired by the life of New Jersey assassin Kuklinski, The Iceman is a taut thriller about the rise of an unsmiling, cold-blooded gun man through the ranks of the criminal fraternity, interspersed with fleeting appearances from David Schwimmer and James Franco and a slightly meatier role for Stephen Dorff as Richard’s jailbird brother.
Shannon’s smouldering performance threatens to ignite Ariel Vromen’s film, his eyes burning with rage as a victim of paternal abuse, who had almost every drop of goodness beaten out of him in childhood.
But the bones of Vromen’s script, co-written by Morgan Land, are disappointingly light on emotional meat, so it’s hard to muster empathy for the lead character as he lays waste to countless lives with the pull of a trigger and an unflinching stare.
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