The new thriller from director David Cronenberg reteams him with his “A History of Violence” leading man Viggo Mortensen. The film follows the mysterious and ruthless Nikolai (Mr. Mortensen), who is tied to one of London’s most notorious organized crime families. His carefully maintained existence is jarred when he crosses paths with Anna (Academy Award nominee Naomi Watts), an innocent midwife trying to right a wrong, who accidentally uncovers potential evidence against the family. Now Nikolai must put into motion a harrowing chain of murder, deceit, and retribution.
After screening this film, I heard a woman in the lobby say to someone standing next to her, “That was really violent.” She was right. It was and is a very violent picture. The premise of the film is that a character named Anna (Naomi Watts) helps deliver a baby when the baby’s mother comes to the hospital near death, hemorrhaging quite badly. The baby is saved but Anna soon learns from the mother’s journal a hidden secret as to the birth of the child and the baby’s father. Anna’s path crosses that of the ruthless Nikolai (Viggo Mortensen), who has ties to one of the worst crime families in London. Although he coldly inspects a body in a freezer and cuts off the fingers, there is another side to him which Anna turns to in hopes of saving the baby’s life, which she learns is in danger.
This is a dark picture that despite the good performances from Mortensen, Watts and the rest of the cast, is extremely violent. There are two explicit scenes of throats being slit, and a sauna scene in which a character is attacked. It becomes a blood bath in the sauna. We cannot award our Dove Seal to this picture as a family-friendly movie.