"Eastern Promises" by Yojimbo
Yojimbo - wrote on 04/09/12
When a young girl dies during childbirth in a London hospital, the midwife tries to find out who she was by having her diary translated leading her to become embroiled in the affairs of the Russian mob. David Cronenberg's follow up to A History Of Violence shares a lot of common themes with it; it stars Viggo Mortensen (once again on top form), contains some brutally realistic violence and a grim and completely unsexy sex scene. The other performances are also strong, including Armin Mueller-Stahl as the Russian "Godfather" whose initial seemingly warm and familial attitude contains suitably sinister undercurrents, Vincent Cassel as his son and heir who deals with his latent homosexuality in this homophobic world with alcohol induced debauchery and Naomi Watts once again proves she is more than a pretty face as the headstrong heroine. Unfortunately the weaknesses of the previous film are also in evidence; the script contains few surprises and it lacks a strong narrative conclusion, but once again Cronenberg has created a solid and well made gangster film in which strong performances bolster the slight weakness in plot. Basically, if you liked A History Of Violence, you'll like this. If you didn't, you won't.