A History of Violence

Director: David Cronenberg
Year Released: 2005
Rating: 1.5

Frankly lame attempt by Cronenberg to attack America and its history of violence, but the set-ups are so comical and the dialogue so positively cartoonish (not to mention the scenes at an American high school with your stereotypical jock and the kid he picks on), it's hard to take very seriously. Perhaps the source material - yet another graphic novel - is to blame: I don't mean to be dismissive towards the medium (Dan Clowes and Terry Zwigoff's Ghost World adaptation added existential layers to the already ambiguous original work), but they don't necessarily provide the complexity for such a social critique (Mendes' Road to Perdition and Frank Miller's Sin City also devolved into mindless bloodshed for the sake of mindless bloodshed). Very little of "Cronenberg" remains, aside from a few close-ups of blown-apart heads and pools of blood and, of course, the Ed Harris character and his disfigured face.