Untimely Reviews – “A History of Violence”

My wife sums "A History of Violence" up best, "there was a lot of bad assery". What looks like a family drama/suspense film is actually much, much more. It is also a movie where Viggo Mortensen kicks ass and takes names. This combination makes for the perfect guy date movie.

Of course, many great movies have no ass kicking. I enjoy a good romantic comedy for the cuddling and chuckling. Dramas are also a great reminder of how better my life is without divorce, incurable disease, death, and other sorts of major bummers. But I still have a need to watch bad guys get a serious ass whooping. In that area, "A History of Violence" seriously delivers.

The movie innocently starts with a guy who is married to a beautiful lawyer, raising loving children, an owner of his own business, and a friend to all in small rural town. It could actually be a quite large rural town, considering the average size of rural towns. But that is besides the point. Life is sweet for Viggo. Then some wiseguy mobsters come to town and all terror ensues. By the end of the movie, the mobsters are history (sorry, puns are a movie review staple) but Viggo's life will be similar to what it was before, but probably not the same. (We don't get a long term prospective.)

One of the best lines from the completely unrelated movie "Sin City" is "I love hitmen. No matter what you do to them, you don't feel bad." Those words ring true for us spectators as well. I have never felt bad about watching the gruesome death of a movie hitman. In fact, the death of a movie hitman is often amusing and uplifting. Just watch any James Bond film. It is this joy of watching the death of a hitman or any "bad guy" that makes "A History of Violence" somewhat uplifting. Heck, it worked for "The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag".

In sum, "A History of Violence" was a win-win for my wife and I. The movie gave me the satisfaction of watching bad guys killed in painfully bloody detail. My wife got to see Viggo's naked butt. Fair trade.

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