Watched Aug 19, 2012
Travis Lytle’s review:
As he did with "A History of Violence," in "Eastern Promises," David Cronenberg builds a semi-stylized cinematic reality out of the cliches and themes suggested by specific material. In the latter film, those cliches and themes were tied to small town America. Here, in "Eastern Promises," those cliches are tied to tattooed, vodka swilling Russians who make nefarious social club deals and live by codes of life and death importance: the Russian Mob.
The film itself is a handsomely assembled and photographed. It is punctuated by fits of drippy, Cronenbergian violence and elevated by a charismatic and excellent lead performance from Viggo Mortensen. While its story is almost too lean, presenting the audience with more possibilities than concrete answers, the film, overall, is a completely engrossing experience.