Michael Shannon exudes 70s cool as a brutal hit man.
THE ICEMAN (Ariel Vromen). See listing. Rating: NN
Every TIFF gets that one all-star project that feels like it should have gone straight to cable. In 2012, it was Ariel Vromen's utterly rote hit man picture, with the estimable Michael Shannon (Take Shelter, Premium Rush) as career criminal Richard Kuklinski, a New York family man who killed a whole bunch of people for a two-bit mobster (Ray Liotta).
Shannon's approach to Kuklinski as a total brick wall - refusing to give anything back to his co-stars - is a fascinating performance choice, but even that can't juice up this dull slog through Mob-movie clichés. His period facial hair does become increasingly lively as the story moves through the 60s, 70s and 80s.
Speaking of facial hair, co-stars Chris Evans, James Franco, Stephen Dorff and an unbilled David Schwimmer appear to be having some sort of Morgan Spurlock look-alike contest. Spoiler alert: Schwimmer wins.