Director: David Cronenberg
In a sea of movie going uncertainty it’s so nice to have David Cronenberg. Without fail when you see his movies you’re left knowing without a doubt that you didn’t just see another Hollywood popcorn flick. He’s always had a thing for good stories that make you feel uncomfortable and “Eastern Promises” is no exception.
Keeping with the dark violent theme of his previous “History of Violence” this outing actually marks the first film Cronenberg has shot entirely out of Canada. Yet even in England the air is thick with his style.
This time out Naomi Watts plays a London nurse who helps deliver a child whose mother died during labor. Afterwards she attempts to find the child’s home and stumbles into the Russian mafia. Although there wasn’t a single weak link in the acting, it’s once again Viggo Mortensen who stands out. His performance is absolutely fantastic as a mafia up and comer. The satisfying plot involves family quarrels, dark pleasures and other very good stuff with very bad people.
The attention to detail of the Russian mafia culture is actually incredible. However as a service it must be said that boy-howdy is it violent. Not over the top goofy gun violent, but realistic knife and blood violent. The final fight scene, (filmed without stunt doubles) was particularly cringe inducing.If mafia films are your flavor of choice you really can’t go wrong with this one. Dig in and be truly satisfied.