A mysterious criminal mastermind with ties to a ruthless Russian mob family in London, meets Anna, a midwife with damning evidence against them. They set off a chain reaction of murder and retribution.
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Paradoxically, it has a set of promising ingredients: fine play with appearances, Cronenberg-esque obsession with the body and its scars -here as the body as a ritual of manhood-, an always excellent Naomi Watts, a ruthless patriarch (Mueller-Stahl) that give you the creeps. Yet, there is something procedural about denouement, while the film's main weakness turns out to be a really stiff and unconvincing male duo.
Not my favorite Cronenberg but there is still a lot to love about this movie. The acting, the script, the terrifying nude fight scene. I also really loved that ending. All around I'd say this was damn good movie.
The screenplay's emotionally stiff and the pacing is slack. Eastern Promises may be more conceptually creative than Cronenberg's prior film, A History of Violence, but it doesn't deliver, as only the emotionally hard-hitting parts are the violent ones. And there's only a little violence. Everything else is just white-noise chatter that rarely has involving stakes. One of the few overrated films from the director.
Epoustouflante composition de Viggo Mortensen, décidemment incontournable, en ambivalent homme de main dévoué et tranchant, face à un Vincent Cassel forçant un peu trop dans le vitupérant psychotique, sans oublier, égal à lui-même, l'immense Armin Mueller-Stahl, un monument du septième art qui pointe discrètement du côté des Max Von Sydow et autres Alec Guinness de nos nuits blanches. www.cinefiches.com