A History of Violence

I really like the feel and style of David Cronenberg, especially his earlier stuff like eXistinZ or The Fly. Cronenberg typically has a very simple story with complex themes and characters.

I was a pretty big fan of the graphic novel of the same name and hearing Cronenbrg was at the helm of the adaptation I was excited. The source material lends itself perfectly to the Cronenberg mind. 

As a result I unknowingly set myself up for my biggest disappointment. The dark and binding themes of the novel were no where to be found within the movie. The twist at the end of the comic was why I assumed Cronenberg was interested in the project. But to my dismay the screenwriters flipped the script and created their own version of the story leaving the soul of the source material as merely a shadow of what could have been.

I really enjoyed watching Viggo in the role of Tom Stall. The man naturally carries a quiet air about himself but always with a hint of something unpredictable.

I probably would have casted someone younger in the role of the son.He was unconvincing and forced in the awkward teenager role.

William Hurt exhibits possibly his best performance to date. A ruthless mob boss who shows no mercy even unto his brother. He casually wanders from behind his huge desk with s sharp smirk and sing songy wise crack. With his henchmen behind you catch his eyes drift from yours to theirs and before you know it your brain is screaming for air.

The violence and sex push the limits of the R rating. Bullet to the face, crushed noses, and shotgun splatters. Although ridiculously extreme the blood and gore creates a purposed tone over the movie.

In my opinion the sex was a bit too much. Too long, awkward, and extreme. I guess my biggest issue seeds from the novel where this wasn't even an element.

A good movie, I won't argue with that. What bothers me the most is that History had the potential the be a great movie.

Reviewed by: shea