Eastern Promises Review

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 8.19.15 PM  A very non-Cronenberg Cronenberg film that happens to be an excellently crafted, gritty crime story. Accustomed to seeing Cronenberg in the title followed by some weird body-horror sequences, it felt odd watching a non-sci-fi Cronenberg film, sure it presented an interesting story and brilliant acting, but a part of me was just expecting a head to blow-up or some a hallucinatory scene, so to inform you in advance, this is a very non-typical Cronenberg film that is certainly grounded in the mundane world of the Russian crime underworld. Presenting the viewer with a really interesting set of scenes that introduce us to the story, Eastern Promises starts off good, and then it becomes a really slow film, which is nice, but it could’ve definitely been sped up a bit; nevertheless, Eastern Promises has such a magnificent finale which I will avoid describing because you just have to watch it. Much like There Will be Blood, Eastern Promises’s finale could probably stand on its own as a short film. With regards to direction, Cronenberg does an excellent job setting up this crime underworld, directs everyone great, but does have a bit of problems with pacing since it does get a bit slow at times. As I mentioned everyone in this film is awesome, Watts delivers a solid performance as always, Cassel is great, Mueller-Stahl is outstanding, but Viggo Mortensen steals the show. The amount of discretion Mortensen is able to implement into his character is scary, constantly cool, an emotionless danger that could probably go berserk any second, Viggo truly manages to disguise himself within his character. Great acting, a marvelous screenplay by Knight, good directing, a stupendous finale, and an epic, unexpected action sequence, the whole detective section of it might feel a tad rushed, but in the end, Eastern Promises receives an 85 out of 100 from me.

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