Eastern Promises

Director: David Cronenberg
Year Released: 2007
Rating: 2.0

Curious nurse Naomi Watts tends to a pregnant 14-year-old who dies but her infant lives - her investigation takes her straight to the Russian Mafia operating out of London and the peculiar life of Viggo Mortensen. Flashes of Cronenberg can be seen in this as in A History of Violence (close-ups of slit throats that look fake and gush blood, a protracted and grisly bath house battle that involves Mortensen naked) but the plot is flimsy and loosely connected - the ending, which cuts out just as I thought it was ready to kick into gear, suggests this is actually about family values, with Mortensen's storyline not as relevant as that of the baby's (it's an odd about-face for a man who started his career with exploding heads and parasites slithering inside of bodies). Vincent Cassel is so over-the-top it's as if Cronenberg told him to repeat his role in La Haine but with more bile and with a touch of a Russian accent.