A History of Violence (boxed spoilers)

I don’t know if I thought it was that bad, but it was horrible. It really pissed me off because I thought the concept had merit - small town guy, kills the shit out of some gangsters passing through - does he or does he not have a “bad” past - etc. However, I thought the whole thing just diverted into nowhere. William Hurt was absolutely jarring (as someone mentioned above), and I too thought the sex scenes were gratutious and embarassing.

And as I read that last sentence I wrote … When I think that a sex scene is gratuitous, it is gratuitous.

Anyways yes - I thought it sucked after I saw it (just didn’t care enough to post) - now that it’s been a few weeks - I still think it sucked. Glad to see someone coming from the same angle.

I would disagree with these two points. I think the opening was critical. You had to show that the two thugs were badasses, so that you ended up wondering if Tom really was Joey. Was he just a diner owner who got lucky, or did the badasses end up running into a bigger badass.

I think the son subplot was necessary as well. Still violent or not, I believe that he didn’t want his son to be like he used to be. The son takes the non-violent approach in the beginning, but as Tom’s life begins to unravel so does his sons. The son resorts to violence and his father sees that the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. It was kinda ham-fisted in execution however.

I saw this last weekend with a friend that likes his entertainment a bit simpler, he must have whispered “I don’t get it, what’s going on, why did s/he do that?” half a dozen times during the movie. I usually don’t want to work that hard to figure out what the director means.

There were a lot of slow parts that just dragged unbearably, the slow beginning with the killers that essentially meant nothing, for instance. Here we are paying attention, wincing at the gratuitous bloodshed but waiting for some sort of payoff for our attention, these are main characters so this will be important right? No, just kidding, no explanation coming after all.
My take is that he showed us how scummy these guys were so that when Viggo wastes them so efficiently we won’t feel bad about it. Had the movie just opened in the diner with the bad guys menacing everyone, Viggo’s reaction would have seemed way over the top, this way we were secretly glad the cute-little-girl-shooting scumballs died horribly.

What’s with the sickeningly sweet family thing? How realistic is it that everyone, even your token moody adolescent, shows up to cheer the little girl after her nightmare? And where were the kids during the rest of the movie? Conspicuously silent and unseen, except where they were brought out to further the plot.

I’m way happier to see gratuitous sex than violence but that first scene felt uncomfortably like voyeurism. The second scene was hot, and actually related to the plot so it didn’t feel excessive, although I did keep waiting for the angelic li’l munchkin to wander out of her room.

Count me as another who was disappointed with it. I thought the idea was very interesting but the execution sucked.

I saw it today at the dollar theater, and I really loved it. It would have been in my Top Ten List for 2005 if I had squeezed it in in time. And surprisingly, I haven’t read the graphic novel.

It did remind me of Road To Perdition in some obvious, surface-level aspects, though.

I just saw this movie last night (It only just got released here, which is strange because they normally get released at the same time)
I must say I agree with everything Cisco said. I was looking forward to it, and then I was disappointed. The opening scene was horrible, I understand the need for it, but why are they moving so slow?

I’m glad I’m not the only one who hated this movie. Maria Bello was abominable, William Hurt was miscast, and the son character was a jerk. I, along with much of the rest of the audience, laughed at several parts that were not supposed to be funny, including the sex on the stairs bit, the cheerleader outfit sex scene, and much of the violence at the end of the movie.

Can’t believe so many people told me I had to see this movie b/c it was great.

I saw this today and while I liked it, it seems that if Cronenburg was trying to get the auidence to see the violence as horrific rather then justified, he failed utterly.

[Spoiler]
The opening scene makes the two guys so unlikable that when Viggo finally blows them away in the diner, most people(myself included) are going to see the world as slightly better for their absence.

In fact, it seems like cronenburg made the violence justifiable in every instance, because the bad guys are essentially forcing them to defend themselves and are pretty unsympathetic(I can’t say I’m gonna cry over a mob boss getting gunned down in his home by the brother he tried to murder on several occasions). Even when the bully got the shit beat out of him, the reaction that came to my mind was “Okay, nobody noticed when this guy was being threatened and cornered before, but they suddenly notices when he finally decides he isn’t going to take it”. The fact the bully is a major prick doesn’t make one feel sorry he got the shit beat out of him.

Also, if cronenburg was trying to make the revelation of Viggo actually being Joey a big twist, he didn’t do a very good job. There were more then enough clues to guess and when he killed the three mobsters so aptly, I said “he’s either a former navy seal or he’s a former mobster. No “Average Joe” is that good”. [/spoiler]

Maybe there’s something I was missing, but it’s hard to see what.

No, he was trying to make it seem complicated. It’s not a morality tale. It’s not an answer, it’s a question.

I am trying to understand this entire statement and I just can’t understand it. How did it seem complicated? What answer do people think it is? What question is it asking?