Sunday, September 23, 2007

Movie Review: Eastern Promises (2007)

Eastern Promises does have a lot to promise. Featuring top notch talent such as Viggo Mortensen and Naomi Watts, director David Cronenberg hot off his last award-winning [and Mortensen-starring] masterpiece A History of Violence and an unsettling plot about a woman who has accidentally become entwined with the Russian mafia, expectations for the film were high. And Eastern Promises lives up to them... for the most part.

As one might expect, Eastern Promises has its fair amount of ultra violence, which Cronenberg seems to enjoy adding even when his films appeal most to adult audiences. Some may find the violence or at least the gore (necks getting sawed at with razor blades until blood is squirting profusely from severed arteries, knives to the eyes, etc.) unnecessary, but that is part of the reason I am a growing fan of Cronenberg's work. Even in the most subtle or raw dramas (I am mainly referring to A History of Violence), he likes to shock the audience with sudden bouts of violence. The audience becomes squeamish, but that's all part of the act: his movie is about regular people who get involved with nasty things, and he makes the audience react accordingly.

Read the full Eastern Promises movie review...

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