Monday, 7 October 2013

The Iceman

Just released on Blu-Ray and DVD is the new biopic The Iceman, based on the true story of a mafia hitman Richard Kuklinski.  I am gonna be throwing in spoilers from both this film, obviously, and possibly Breaking Bad so beware if you are behind the times a little.

Based on the true story, this film is the life of family man Richard Kuklinski and his work as a contract killer.  As an ex-bookseller, I can tell you that this is one of the most frequently sold books in the true crime section, if not the most popular.  Kuklinski was originally working in the porn industry, pirating and shipping porn films back in times before it became so easy that people could accidentally tweet their breasts to their entire world à la Scarlett Johansson (no disrespect of course to a philosophical polygamist and Tom Waits fan, she is intelligent and impenetrably lovely).  Eventually the Gambino family, for whom he worked, decided to shut down this operation and then tested his ability to obey orders by demanding he quickly and painlessly murder a homeless man.  Which he did.

Now he answered to a first level soldier in the Gambino family called Roy Demeo alongside someone called Josh Rosenthal.  I defy you to watch this film pointing to Rosenthal and saying ‘That’s Ross! Ross from Friends! Why is he there?! He thinks he’s in the mafia! Silly Ross!”  I feel bad for David Schwimmer in this case because he is he basically playing Ross from Friends except with a terrible moustache and he seems so out of place, some how being given a more serious role while also being type cast at exactly the same time.  Give this man a job in a Paul Rudd film or something and give him back his career because in this he is about as believable as Spongebob Square Pants with a moustache in the middle of the Godfather.

Speaking of moustaches, this film could easily have been called ‘Facial Fair Through the Ages’ as the plot takes place over a couple of decades and Kuklinski must have been an amazingly ‘hip cat’ as he has based his moustache or beard on popular T.V shows at the time.  He even thought he was in Starsky and Hutch at one point chasing a man down an alley way knocking over boxes, messing up hair, working wah-wah pedals within an inch of their flippy-floppy life and the like, all very exciting.  The author of his biography cites these kinds of moments as evidence that he was bi-polar. He had moments where he would make cakes, buy kittens, bring food out to the homeless in awful weather and sometimes personally draw you a picture of a holographic unicorn and stick it to your locker with a packet of Parma violets taped to it with ‘Just Because…’ written beneath. Then he would suddenly fill your puppy with ball bearings and chuck magnets at it, replace all your food with soup and your entire cutlery with forks and do a big fresh poo in your bed when you were at work.  

This all came from the constant physical and emotional abuse he got from his parents, who were under the impression that beating you within an inch of your life with furniture and religion were the best way to raise a child. He would be told to imagine a giant angry man in the sky that would know when he was thinking about girls, touching himself down there and enjoying the ‘wrong’ kind of friendships. Said angry man would respond to this by burning his flesh from his skin, making him vomit battery acid and killing his friends, and the reason behind him doing this?  Because he LOVES him.  So after this mental mind rape worthy of a very unpleasant magic mushroom/DMT breakdown he became a paranoid and antisocial empathy-less mental case.  And did about a century of murders.

Eventually after murdering about 100 people including James Franco and Captain America he gets caught and his family hate him and are happy to see him go. So similar was his journey to that of Walter White in Breaking Bad, the whole film could’ve been a fan made video on YouTube explaining all 5 seasons of Breaking Bad in two hours. If you liked Breaking Bad (if you have emotions and eyeballs and a sense of quality and brilliance) you would enjoy this film, thought not as much obviously. 

I would suggest seeing it but I would watch a documentary or read the book first because as there is so much time trying to be squeezed into the two hours you would lose some of the nuance.

P.S. Allow me to swallow some bile, James Franco was good in this.

David Roberts, CeX Lisburn

The Iceman at CeX

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