A History of Violence directed by David Cronenburg

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This movie is based upon a graphic novel, so the director chose to keep some of the dark, shocking imagery that is de rigueur for comics.  So obsessive was he about the fun of gore that he shot differing levels of goriness for a few scenes released in the international version.  They deleted a funny but unnecessary dream sequence where the hero blows a hole through his foe’s chest, only to have the foe shoot him anyway.  I was glad it was not included; it lowered the highbrow tone of the film.

There was also an attempt to create an intriguing narrative of the mix between sex and violence.  The two scenes showed two different sides of sexuality, but could have been deleted completely with no ill effect on the plot.  Indeed, deleting them may have helped focus the movie on the core values.

Sin City wins my bid for best adaptation of a graphic novel in the classic graphic novel sense.  The melodrama presented in A History of Violence simply detracts from an otherwise excellent piece.  William Hurt delivers a somewhat flat performance.  Why does he keep landing these juicy roles, then falling on his face in the delivery? 

Don’t miss the special features.  Viggo Mortenson is wearing the most ridiculous tuxedo I’ve ever seen, perhaps to compete with his ridiculous handlebar mustache.

All considered, I would recommend this movie for its superior acting and interesting plot.

[rate 3.5]

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