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‘I Don’t Kill Women and Children’
Ice Man with Michael Shannon as Hit Man Richard Kuklinski
© 2013 James LaFond
I usually do not care for the storyline of mobster movies. I do watch all mobster movies, for the simple reason that they generally provide the only realistic modern violence in film. One mobster movie I did like a lot was a History of Violence, which was not billed as such. If you wonder how modern men kill each other watch Goodfellas, Casino and the like. Where such films have generally fallen short is in their portrayal of the psychology of apex killers. These men usually make cameos in mobster films, with the narrative revolving around the decision-makers.
Ice Man is the story of one of the top mob hit men of the 20th Century, the kind of guy the murdering scumbag mobsters are not comfortable socializing with, but who want to have available; a death dealer a phone call away to make their most intractable problems disappear. Ice Man is one of the better dark movies I have seen. Michael Shannon puts in a fantastic performance as a conflicted killer, who tries desperately to have a normal family life.
Richard Kuklinski was a brutalized Polish-American boy who reviled his older brother for killing a 12-year-old girl. His evolution as a killer is shown in low-key and well-acted scenes. His lack of fear and cool under pressure is noted by a mobster, and he is recruited as a killer in the most callous manner possible, buy entirely evil men. By the last quarter of the movie I had become so sick of hearing the term ‘Polack’ used derisively by the Italian characters, that I wanted Kuklinski to turn on his handlers. The narrative spans from 1964 thru 1986, expanding into a serial killer study along the way.
Ice Man is a good, solidly disturbing movie that walks a viewer through one man’s terminal story, as he tries to maintain a hold on the only decent thing about himself.
Meth-head Minister
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