i’ve never been a huge fan of viggo mortenson. maybe hidalgo ruined it for me, because that may have been the worst movie i’ve ever seen (although this one and this one really give it a run for its…low box office revenue?) he’s got that weird stare, and the chin dimple and…look, i don’t have to explain myself. but i will say that (a) he’s totally ripped, (b) the tattoos are pretty awesome, and (c) with the slicked-back hair, he makes a pretty convincing Russian mobster.
i also have a soft spot in my heart for mafia movies and television shows, and i admit it was quite refreshing to see a portrayal of crime disconnected from the italians on the jersey shore. the interaction is more impersonal, less familial, and equally brutal, although these guys favor throat-slitting over gunfights.
the film is relatively short, to the point, and clear, although the loyalties of viggo’s character nikolai were kept a little ambiguous, even as the movie wrapped up. naomi watts also does a terrific job of keeping her character understated. many other look-alike actresses (sharon stone? sienna miller?) might have played up the female hysterics, but watts remains composed and dignified. and she rides a motorcycle.