I hate the film History of Violence. So, I guess my assessment of Cronenberg WAS a little hasty…heh. Imagine. I was hasty.
The performances were fab. Usually, I hate movies because the performances are blah. But this is not the case with A History of Violence. In fact, I actually kinda really dig Maria Bello now, when before I never thought much about her.
Here’s the thing: NO WAY IN HELL. All of it. I didn’t buy a single second of the revelation and following plot. Wha? Wha? I mean…c’mon. I don’t want to blow any endings or anything but how manipulative was that ending? Yeesh
Okay, wait, I’ll say this. Small town folk were treated in a respectable manner. No grass seed suckin’ ‘billies, and I appreciate that. I really really do. I think if I was from Philly, I might be a little offended, but I’m not…thank god. Anyway, I think I can honestly say this now…if a film is based on a graphic novel…likely I will think it is substandard. I hyaaaaate how predictable female behavior is in the graphic novel form. Again, I don’t want to blow any plot lines, so I won’t go into the myriad moments I had of “Oh…oh she’s gonna… She did!”
Okay, the sex scenes were hot. No, wait. The FIRST sex scene is hot. The second one…okay, it’s hot but it is majorly colored by WHA??? But that first one. Whew, girl. Rrgggglllll.
I think the theme of the film is “Can we really reform? Are we actually capabale of starting over?” I think the violence is a vehicle for this theme, rather than being the theme itself. And it’s an interesting question. It really is. I’d love to hand this theme over to my favorite directors and say, have at it. But this particular film is the cinematic equivalent of Sylvester sneaking up behind Tweety with the use of a well-placed shrubbery. Thank god Tweety wasn’t looking in his direction, or we’d have no story! And Tweety isn’t stupid. And neither is Edie, Maria Bello’s character, but wow…she’d kinda have to be for some of this movie to work. And she’s not. And it doesn’t.
I always feel a little out of sorts after I see a movie like this. A group of actors and artists I really respect got together and said, “YAY! Let’s do THIS!” and i”m thinking…why? Okay, sure, they are getting paid major amounts of dough, and it seems like Ed Harris wanted to work with Viggo (or vice versa, as I just watched Appaloosa) so I understand that. But…I don’t know. I didn’t like it. I didn’t buy it. But I do think it’s a good example of how good actors can elevate a mediocre at best script. Because I finished watching it.