'The Iceman' Trailer: Michael Shannon Loves His Family, Contract Killing

After the dual disappointments of Killing Me Softly and Gangster Squad, I'm feeling a little burned out on mob movies at the moment. So maybe it's just my mood that has me unimpressed with the new trailer for The Iceman. On the one hand, director Ariel Vromen seems to have a flair for visuals, the cast looks strong, and the fact-based premise is intriguing. On the other, it all looks so tiresomely familiar.

Michael Shannon stars as real-life hitman Richard Kuklinski, who allegedly racked up over 100 kills over a four-decade career. He makes good money whacking people for gangster Roy Demeo (genre staple Ray Liotta), until an incident involving Demeo's underling (David Schwimmer) forces Kuklinski out of their operation. He then teams up with freelance killer Robert Pronge (Chris Evans), which comes with its own complications. Winona Ryder also stars, as Kuklinski's oblivious wife. Watch the new trailer after the jump.

[via The Playlist]

Whether he's playing a dirty cop, a military spouse, a mentally ill truth-teller, or an apocalypse-fearing family man, Shannon's a force to be reckoned with. As the lead of The Iceman, he seems to have plenty to sink his teeth into. But at this point it takes more than a pedigreed cast and some slick violence to stand out, and the film surrounding Shannon may not be up to his level. The subplot about Kuklinski's family somehow having absolutely no idea that he's a cold-blooded killer seems promising, but otherwise The Iceman seems more concerned with re-treading familiar ground.

But, like I said, maybe I'm just being pessimistic. Reviews so far have been mixed to good, with Shannon and Vromen getting singled out for praise. Vromen and Morgan Land's screenplay, in contrast, is getting somewhat less love.

The Iceman hits theaters in May.

Inspired by actual events, The Iceman follows notorious contract killer Richard Kuklinski (Academy Award® nominee Michael Shannon) from his early days in the mob until his arrest for the murder of more than 100 men. Appearing to be living the American dream as a devoted husband and father; in reality Kuklinski was a ruthless killer-for-hire. When finally arrested in 1986, neither his wife nor daughters have any clue about his real profession.