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A History of Violence (2005)


Last night I watched a film that I’ve had an itch to watch again for a while.


A History of Violence (2005)


If you haven’t seen it, it’s an action/drama/thriller directed by David Cronenberg (The Fly) starring Viggo Mortensen (The Lord of the Rings trilogy), Maria Bello (Lights Out), Ed Harris (The Truman Show) and William Hurt (The Village) among others.


The movie is an adaptation of the 1997 graphic novel by John Wagner and Vince Locke.


This is what it’s about:


Small town cafe owner Tom Stall (Mortensen) becomes a local hero after defending his store from an attempted robbery. The media coverage that follows attracts the attention of a dangerous man with ties to the Philadelphia mob (Harris). Believing Tom to be the man who wronged him 20 years earlier, the stranger turns the unassuming family man’s life upside down when doubt is cast on his claims that it’s nothing more than a case of mistaken identity.


Until last night I’d only seen this film once and that was around the time it came out. I remember liking it but other than a few scenes I couldn’t remember much about it.


I really enjoyed watching this again. It’s another one of those “underdog rises to the challenge” kind of movies that I’ve talked about liking in the past. This one’s quite different though and focusses more on the drama and the effects the events have on the main character’s relationship with his family than on the action itself. That said, there are some good and pretty graphic action scenes and they’re spaced out nicely.


Viggo Mortensen, who I think is sadly underrated as an actor is great in the lead role. For most of the movie you honestly don’t know if he really is the guy he’s accused of being or whether it is truly a case of mistaken identity.


Ed Harris is good too as one of the film’s villains and the make up effects of his scarred face are excellent!

I’m not much of a fan of Maria Bello if I’m honest. I’m sure she’s lovely in real life but a good replacement for Rachel Weisz in The Mummy franchise she is NOT! That said, she does a good job in this movie as Tom’s strong, loving wife. She’s also good in Payback (1999). 👌


Don’t expect this to be like John Wick, Taken or Nobody, it’s a different film altogether. It has a much slower pace and like I said before, it focusses more on the drama than the action.


It’s definitely worth checking out if you fancy a decent movie that will have you thinking, “is he or isn’t he” for most of the film. Plus, with a run time of just 1 hour 36 minutes, you won’t be too gutted if it’s not the best film you’ve ever seen.


Seen it? Let me know what you think. 👇

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