A History of Violence Reviews
Cronenberg knocks this one out of the park and creates a really interesting character, as even the audience is kept guessing just who Tom Stall might really be.
"A History of Violence" is a great movie that captivates from the first moment. The movie unfolds in the typical "Cronenberg Style" layer by layer and piece by piece.
Mortensen delivers another amazing performance and shows why Cronenberg can always count on him. William Hurt, in his limited screen time, is even better and I wish we could've seen more of him.
The movie lives less from the story and rather from it's characters and the effects the events have on them. All the actors have a great chemistry.
Cronenberg does another great job directing and, as in many of his movies, the focus is more on the character building than the story. Also he is not afraid to show the violence and blood which really makes the movie more authentic.
The cinematography, also as usual, is excellent. The many medium shots and close ups are perfect for portraying all the emotions and feelings that are portrayed on the characters faces.
In conclusion we can say that "A History of Violence" is a great movie with Cronenberg's usual mystery and plot twists, great acting and usual great camera work.
The action/violence sequences are powerful and have some great Cronenberg makeup effects in them. It was very well done, and pulled me into each one of those scenes. The stunt work was great, and I never felt like I missed anything because it was filmed well.
There was one aspect that I really hated, and that was the use of Greg Bryk as one of the killers in the opening scene. It threw me off so much because he kind of looked like a young Viggo Mortensen so I thought I was watching a scene of Viggo's past. It didn't make sense until the killers walked into the diner.
There's a very deliberate style to A History of Violence. In many ways it reminded me of the movie Drive (and I mean that in a good way.) It never becomes overly stylized, the main character almost never goes big with his performance but remains understated, and then amongst the quiet and calm the film is accentuated by startling violence.
I felt the movie was lacking something in the plot department, because once you get past the midway point it almost seems to run on autopilot. I was looking for a little something more, but the movie didn't quite deliver that. However there was enough there, and I felt connected to the characters so much that I keep thinking about A History of Violence days later.