Locke, “A History of Violence” is film noir as if
Norman Rockwell painted it.
Two thugs with a history of violence antagonize a diner
run by Tom Stalls (Viggo Mortensen). Tom quickly dispatches
the thugs and becomes a media celebrity and local folk hero.
This media hype invites a man wearing black (Ed
Harris) to Tom’s small town. This man in black
confronts Tom and his wife Edie (Maria Bello) with
information about Tom’s controversial past involving
the mysterious Ritchie (William Hurt).
All the actors play with their previous type casting.
Ed Harris replays the role he portrayed in “A
Beautiful Mind.” In six minutes, William Hurt
manages to reveal a hybrid character as if he were
the test tube love child of Tony Soprano and Hilary
Clinton. From his glorified throne of middle earth,
Viggo Mortensen returns to his acting roots inspired
by his remakes of "Psycho" and "A Perfect Murder”
Maria Bello portrays the girl next door with confused
“A History of Violence” explores the line between sex
and violence as an urge that needs to be satisfied.
There are plenty of scenes featuring clean clothes
getting splattered with blood and gore. “A History of
Violence” looks at the parallel between sex and death.
Given his work in "The Dead Zone" and "The Fly," Director
David Cronenberg is at home with this type of material.
It is only trough the historical ignorance of a child
that one may find momentary redemption.