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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Caricatured characterisation, a mawkish soundtrack and a script that sets an indecisive tone for the film make this one of Cronenberg's more variable efforts. Mortensen, Watts and Cassel have enough gravitas to make this an adequate spectating experience. As for contextual accuracy on criminal underworlds, it's too sensationalist. The tattoos are cool though.
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.
A good lead performance and some exquisitely tense bursts of violence drag this script out of total banality. The dialogue has some very low points, but it's mostly sufferable. Cronenberg has taken on a little bit of a gritty neo-noir aesthetic here that should have been pushed further - some of the scenes are clunky and boring, while supporting performances are corny at best.
A bit of darkness, a touch of mafia, brotherhood and a subtle breeze of transgression (not too much). I enjoyed it much more than "A history of violence", but the body are already way too clean to make me remember of his former films. Even if it's not under the same conditions, but even if you feel the presence you can barely feel the signature.