a history of violence

Why don't you ask "Tom" about his older brother Ritchie, ask "Tom" how he tried to rip my eye out with barbed wire, and ask him, Edie, how come he's so good at killing people.

- a history of violence.

let me just preface this whole thing by saying that i'm not the biggest david cronenberg fan. i could never bother to sit through naked lunch, i was bored by crash, and i thought existenz was a waste of time, so much so i never bothered to finish the other half of the movie. now comes a history of violence.

the movie is about a man named tom stall (viggo mortensen) who is living the american dream. he has a wife, two kids, a home, and a flourishing family restaurant. then one day two psychopaths walk into his diner, looking to rob the place, and long story short, he kills them both. he becomes the local hero, with his face plastered all over the local news. tom appears to be a very reluctant hero, who just wants to get back to his normal life. then comes carl fogarty (ed harris) who believes he knows tom. he comes into town, intent on revenge, for what he believes tom did to him years ago, when he was known as "joey." the rest of the movie is pretty much about how tom deals with his past as it comes back to haunt him, as well as how his family could possibly move on.

i really didn't care for the movie. i mean, i understand it; i understand what cronenberg is trying to do, about how people generally feel this perverse desire at seeing a bad person get what they deserve, such as the scene where tom's son is getting bullied at school to the point where he finally lets lose and puts the bully in the hospital. the problem for me was that the whole time, i kept wondering when the violence was going to happen, and when it did, i just shrugged. maybe that's what cronenberg was also trying to do. show us what violence does to people, not only the characters in the movie, but us, the viewing public as well. but i think that's giving him too much credit.

i felt the writing took an odd turn near the end with william hurt's character, who just hits all the wrong notes and almost seems like he's in the wrong movie. throughout the whole movie, there is a seriousness to it, and then hurt's character shows up and he's got lines that belong more to a tarantino movie, as well as some silly slapstick at the end which, while funny, left me wondering if somehow i was watching another movie. ed harris came across as very sinister, setting the tone for the whole movie which was lost with william hurt's comical performance. but really, by then, i had already lost interest. i'm sure the graphic novel of which this is based on is better.

i still think the best piece of work that cronenberg ever did was to get speared in the back by jason in friday 13th part 10: jason x.

jason x, by the way, is the one where jason goes into outer space about five hundred years in the future. just in case you wanted to know.