Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

A History of Violence

A History of Violence is directed by David Cronenberg, as in Existenz, Naked lunch, The Fly, etc. but it is just a well-made mainstream film. Viggo Mortensen plays a nice family guy in a small town, and Ed Harris plays a crime boss who is convinced that Viggo is a hit man gone twenty years undercover. I won't say how it resolves.

It's well directed, the acting is more or less universally good: in particular William Hurt, who comes in near to the end. The story is largely mundane, interspersed with sudden explosive acts of sex and/or violence. The plot itself is rather dull, but the action is very good. I think the dullness or pointlessness is almost deliberate.

There is a philosophical underpinning to the film, about the role of male violence in simultaneously shoring up, and threatening, the family and our culture. I think there is a parallel being drawn with going away to war, and how we react to the soldier.
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