WorstPreviews.com Logo Join the community [Login / Register]
Follow WorstPreviews.com on Twitter
What\ News Coming Soon In Theaters On DVD Trailer,Posters,Pictures,Wallpapers, Screensavers PeliBlog.com Trivia/Quizzes
Trailer for "Midnight ...
Trailer for "Central I...
Trailer for Melissa Mc...
Eastern Promises
Regulates all its characters to the ghosts that swirl around them.
Eastern Promises
Viggo Mortensen and Naomi Watts Star in "Eastern Promises."
Theatrical Review: We're in London and the streets look like they are owned and operated by Beelzebub himself. The ghosts of the KGB death squads loom in the distance, but the Russian crime syndicate's stranglehold over the hoods and alleys is as strong as ever. Out of one of these decrepit alleyways crawls a 14-year-old girl who walks into a pharmacy only moments before hemorrhaging from the baby girl inside her. Her death is announced at the same time as her daughter's birth. Welcome to the decaying London of David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises.A master at the ancient art of phantom punching, Cronenberg's examination of the Russian mafia's sex trade, currently flourishing in London, doesn't hit you till you're a good quarter mile out of the theater, as you're still contemplating Viggo Mortensen's slicked-back hairdo. Like a cccwolf right before the hunt, Mortensen snarls and calmly stalks as Nikolai, the driver for a sect of the elusive crime syndicate Vory V Zakone, a specter that arose from the ashes of Stalin's work camps. Nikolai works for Semyon (Armin Mueller-Stahl) and Semyon's volatile son Kirill (Vincent Cassel), taking care of their transportation and their criminal refuse. When Nikolai snaps off the fingers of a corpse, he asks Kirill and his business associate Azim (Mina E. Mina) to leave... but the audience is allowed to stay.

Article continues below

When a midwife named Anna Khitrova (Naomi Watts) starts sniffing around for the family of the mother and daughter who ended up on her table, Nikolai's steely eyes thin and begin to calculate. What is first believed to be Kirill's lost baby actually belongs to the stately Semyon, who brutally raped and locked away the Russian teenager. Semyon's distinguished attitude gives him a paterfamilial warmth, serving Anna some heated borscht and singing Russian tunes to a woman on her 100th birthday. That we don't see Semyon's crystallized blood makes him all the more dangerous, and it benefits even more from Mueller-Stahl's suave performance and Cassel's wounded cub.

Cronenberg's film regulates all its characters to the ghosts that swirl around them. The gloomy ghouls of Stalin and the KGB evoke the steel eyes of Semyon while Anna's conscience is haunted by the dead girl and the horrors of Eastern Europe, an upbringing she was spared from when her family emigrated to London. Even Nikolai warbles at the thoughts of his own quixotic past and his disheveled moral compass that is beholden to both Semyon and the London police. Not to worry though: Cronenberg still composes blistering acts of violence, as he does here in a stunning three-man battle in a bathhouse with a stark-naked Mortensen. Thanks to the director's ever-evolving style and Steve Knight's pungent script, Mortensen continues to elevate his craft from the broad sword of Aragorn to a whole new level of craft that became apparent in Cronenberg's last film, the disarmingly brilliant A History of Violence. Cronenberg, a world-class provocateur, reminds us that the London streets still aren't safe and they probably never were.

September 21st, 2007 (wide)
September 14th, 2007 (limited)
December 23rd, 2007 (DVD)

Focus Features

David Cronenberg

Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts, Vincent Cassel, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Sinead Cusack, Donald Sumpter, Jerzy Skolimowski

Total: 47 vote(s).

Drama, Suspense

Click here to view site

Rated R for strong brutal and bloody violence, some graphic sexuality, language and nudity.

100 min





Eastern Promises at AskMen.com

Lace Wedding Dresses from ViViDress UK online shop, buy with confidence and cheap price.
WorstPreviews.com hosted by pair Networks WorstPreviews.com
Hosted by pair Networks
News Feeds | Box Office | Movie Reviews | Buzz: Top 100 | Popularity: Top 100
Poster Store | About Us | Advertising | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Web Tools | Site Map
Copyright © 2009 WorstPreviews.com. All rights reserved