Eastern Promises

Photo: Peter Mountain

A lot of blood gets spilled in David Cronenberg’s precisely made, often heartbreaking quasi-thriller, Eastern Promises, set amid London’s sordid sex trade. After a second viewing, the gore seems less Cronenbergian shtick than an appropriate mirroring of the Russian Mob’s brutality. Also, a potentially gimmicky plot twist involving Nikolai (a flawless Viggo Mortensen) recasts the impenetrable character as a rich enigma. EXTRAS Two making-of docs — the better of which details the creation of Mortensen’s tattoos — can’t compensate for the lack of commentary from Cronenberg.

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