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Written by / 2/08/2012 / No comments / , , , , , ,

DAVID CRONENBERG'S A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE

year: 2005 Score: *1/2
Prepare to get serious, very, very serious. Viggo Mortensen plays an average guy with an average family... Well they’re fantastic looking but nothing's extraordinary about their personal lives: residing in a small town dream house and running a local cafe, life’s as easy as it’s simple. Until two vicious thugs rob the place and Viggo displays too much tactical know-how in taking them out single handed, becoming a media hero and bringing attention to… well there’s the plot of this searing, melodramatic tale of a man who might not be what he appears.

Maria Bello, as his beautiful wife, remains in a blissful, dazed denial about her husband’s true identity, until bigger fish Ed Harris and his formidable goons move in to take Viggo out since he was once, in their opinion, a successful hit man. After all, how could an average Joe be that good with a gun? While EASTERN PROMISES director David Cronenberg sets a nice platform of slowburn suspense, reminiscent of exterior, woodsy Film Noirs like HIGH SIERRA, the good stuff i.e. our hero becoming an antihero takes too long to get happen and once it does… with the 11th hour introduction of a mob boss played by a completely miscast William Hurt… it’s too little, too late.

Although Viggo Mortensen, displaying an old school tough guy countenance (think early 70's Charles Bronson) does play the part well – there’s simply not enough for his true self to fight for, or against. Based on a graphic novel, this needed to be more... enjoyably violent. But the main problem is the script, so full of ponderous cliches and drawn-out, uninteresting bouts of dialog with brooding characters talking and talking about things almost happening, or just about to happen, yet nothing really ever does.
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