Sunday, November 04, 2007

Eastern Promises

One of the most fascinating, and least tense, gangster movies I've ever seen. Possibly the most violent too.

"Is that it?" someone behind me asked the moment the credits rolled. Yes it was, and that was really fine with me, but I can see why some might still have had unresolved expectations.

If Cronenberg's movie has any faults they begin with the fact that Nikolei is somehow more complex and scary than any of the 'real' baddies and the fact that Semyon, the local leader of the Vory V Zakone, seems to be mysteriously under-staffed. These Russian mobsters are big on family but apparently short on goons.

It's never anything other than completely engrossing however. Yet compared to the MS-13, these Russians are a bit wimpy with their body art.

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