EASTERN PROMISES inspired my last post about equality for women. One of the plot devices is the bad guys’ exploitation and abuse of underage immigrant females.
The movie’s not always so well thought out, for instance a character who has no compunction at slitting a tough mobster’s throat, suddenly goes all nervous nelly over witnessing the corpse of same mobster being cut.
But aside from the incongruities, the inconsistencies and the incomplete pay offs (as many reviewers noted, the ending seems tacked on, as if scenes are missing or a focus group was consulted)—nonetheless, it’s a movie worth seeing.
The reason is Viggo Mortensen. The guy’s a real movie star, and has been for a while. His presence made LORD OF THE RINGS more than a fantasy-fairyland-attraction. And even though it didn’t get much attention, and probably didn’t make much money, his “cowboy” movie HILDAGO is one of my favorites, it totally worked, for me, like old fashioned Hollywood movies did when I was young, as did LORD OF THE RINGS, primarily because of Mortensen’s star power.
EASTERN PROMISES reunites director David Cronenberg and Mortensen in a movie as cartoony as their collaboration on HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, but like that flick, if you can surrender to the magic of Mortensen’s star power, you won’t be disappointed.
He’s an old style movie star, which means you can’t help not only liking, but admiring, him, whatever the role, even a cold blooded killer. You want to keep watching him, see more of him (and you see more of him than most movie stars in the most famous and memorable scene in this flick, the already famous steam room fight).
I can’t wait for the sequel.