Double Bill! Part 2: THE ICEMAN
The second film I saw today, and a rather dark chaser to FRANCES HA, THE ICEMAN stars the always excellent and intense Michael Shannon as Richard Klukinski, a NJ based hitman who racked up over 100 hits in a career spanning over two decades. Based on a true story, the film, ably directed by Ariel Vroman and handsomely photographed by Bobby Bukowski, depicts how Klukinski entered into his line of work while simultaneously raising a family. The film’s major tension derives from how he kept his two lives distinctly apart. His wife (Wynona Rider) and two daughters believe he is in the currency exchange business, and he never tries to tell them otherwise as he reports to Roy Demeo (a chilling Ray Liotta) for his assignments. When the heat goes up, he winds up partnering with another hitman called Dr. Freezy (Chris Evans) to make ends meet. Eventually, it all falls apart.
Surprisingly this isn’t a very gory film, which is fine as I prefer its subtle depiction of his cold-bloodedness. All the actors fare well, and though the end is already written on the walls it still is effective in keeping the viewer on edge over when/how he will be caught. It may not be for all tastes, given the subject matter, but I admired the film and the way it unfolded. It certainly doesn’t shy away from darkness or the evil that men do (for a buck), and that lack of romanticism in depicting crime is always refreshing. Recommended.