When a family man and owner of a small town diner foils a hold up by a pair of ruthless killers, his resulting fame attracts the attention of some big city mobsters who insist that they know him by another name.
Yet another movie based upon a graphic novel, A History Of Violence is an action thriller with a twist. Although the premise could be easily mistaken for your average 90’s style Jean-Claude Van Damme straight to DVD standard nonsense, David Cronenberg’s intelligent direction chooses instead to concentrate on the characters and their relationship. It examines the other side of the coin to the reformed character; the fact that a person can change but their violent and criminal past will always be there to haunt them. Viggo Mortensen is as strong as ever and is convincing both in the role of family man Tom and ruthless thug Joey, his relationship with Maria Bellow works very nicely and Ed Harris makes a blood-chilling villain.
Some may be disappointed by the lack of histrionics, but A History Of Violence is a smart and economically told story that should appeal to fans of the offbeat thriller.