8:00 PM, 21st February, 2008
Did you see A History of Violence a couple of years back? You know, the one with Aragorn as a family guy who may or may not have been a hit man in a previous life? And with one of the funniest sequences of that year, towards the end, involving William Hurt and a little bit of killing? If you did, and enjoyed it, then don't miss this film, as it's by the same director and also stars Viggo Mortensen. (If you didn't, then shame on you, and go back and hire it some time. But still come along to this one.)Mortensen plays Nikolai Luzhin, a Russian gang member who has a knack for "fixing things". When a young woman dies giving birth, attendant nurse Anna Kitrova (Watts) gets herself involved with Luzhin, a restaurant proprietor (Mueller-Stahl) and some nasty elements of the Russian Mafia.
This is a solidly acted and directed drama, with some standout set pieces. One of the first pieces is when Luzhin deals with the disposal of a corpse - you'll never look at a hairdryer or garden clippers in the same way again! But the greatest scene is towards the end, in a bath house - I can quite confidently put it amongst the best fight scenes of all time! (It also contains something for everyone - naked Viggo and violence!)All in all, a very good film, with a career-best performance from Mortensen. Don't miss it!