"Cold and Excessively Disturbing"
What You Need To Know:
Michael Shannon gives a chilling performance in THE ICEMAN. The intensity and darkness he brings to the character is truly frightening, but the character is loving and tender when he’s with his family. Sadly, the movie ends with pain rather than hope. A humanist worldview is mixed with a light moral element showing family is important. Also thrown in are gruesome murders, brief sexuality and abundant foul language.
(HH, B, AbAb, LLL, VVV, SS, NN, AA, D, MMM) Strong humanist worldview of a godless murderous man with no sense of guilt or shame, slight Biblical element of man trying to care for and protect his family, man refuses to hurt women or children, some anti-Christian elements when murderer tells his victim to pray for intervention from God and when someone says that there are too many people for God to care about in this world; at least 130 obscenities (including 110 “f” words) and 10 profanities; extreme violence when main character murders victims, shoots victims in the head, slits throats, strangles, poisons, dismembers dead bodies with butcher knife, character stores dead bodies in the freezer of his ice cream truck; depicted sex between slightly clothed married couple is interrupted, main character’s first job was dubbing pornographic movies where there’s a brief image, a meeting takes place in a theater showing a pornographic movie, the edge of the movie is seen, character jokes about masturbation, teenage girl suggestively dances in revealing outfit for a camera; partial upper female nudity, upper and rear male nudity, woman wears revealing nightgown, teenage girl is in her underwear; heavy drinking; smoking of cigarettes, cocaine is mentioned; and, almost all characters are immoral, murderous thieves.
THE ICEMAN is about the notorious Mafia hitman Richard Kuklinski who was arrested in 1986. Richard was nicknamed “The Iceman” because of his cold-blooded appetite for murder. Though Richard Kuklinski was said to have killed over 100 people in cold blood, he claimed that he never killed women or children.
The movie begins with a bearded Richard Kuklinski, played by Michael Shannon, in a jail cell. He’s asked whether he has any regrets. He doesn’t reply.
Cut to Richard as he starts his life with his wife, Deborah. Simultaneously, he begins work as a hitman for mob boss Roy Demeo. Years pass by and Richard’s grisly murders provide money for which he can take care of his wife and two daughters. His family thinks Richard works on Wall Street. They are totally clueless to the violent sadistic nature of his real job.
As the 1970s roll around, Richard starts freelancing his work. He partners with Mr. Freezy (played by Chris Evans), who poses as an Ice Cream Man, but uses his freezers to store dead bodies so he can dispose of them later. Work becomes more and more difficult as the local mafia changes the way they send out executions. All the while, the wall that separates Richard’s violent nature and his family life begins to crumble. He has a deep love for his wife and teenage daughters, but he’s stuck in this lifestyle of murder.
The tensions in Richard’s private life increase until police apprehend him in 1986. He’s subsequently convicted, given life imprisonment, and never sees his family again. In a final interview with Richard at the end, he’s again asked if he has any regrets. He states that he’s unrepentant, and he’s not asking for forgiveness. His one regret is causing his family pain.
Michael Shannon gives a bone chilling performance in THE ICEMAN. The intensity and darkness he brings to the character is truly frightening, but yet his character is loving and tender when he’s with his family. The parallel between his viciousness and love is baffling and contradictory. However, it becomes clear that his crimes caused nothing but pain and misery to the only people he loved. Sadly, the movie ends with pain rather than hope.
At one point, Richard’s daughter asks why God allows people to die. Her mother quickly replies that there are too many people in the world, so God can’t care about everyone. This humanist ideology is mixed with a moral element that family is important. Also thrown in are gruesome murders, brief sexuality, nudity, and abundant foul language. All the negative content undermines any redemptive value THE ICEMAN might have as a morality tale.