One of my favourite movies to revisit from a year stacked to the teeth with masterpieces. It’s the playful cruelty of Eastern Promises which makes it endlessly entertaining. Knight’s procedural screenplay and Cronenberg’s dissective direction compliment each other perfectly. Anchor onto that Mortensen’s remarkable supporting performance and you have a real firework of a movie. In fact, the world it tackles here is so rich that I have no doubt if Knight was producing it today it would be a prestige mini-series.
It certainly lacks the subversiveness of Cronenberg’s self-penned movies but as a commercial rendition of that sensibility it’s pretty great. I remember so many little details about this film, most of all the look of the blood. How dark, thick and syrupy it seems. Weird. Trust Cronenberg to make a movie where even the bodily fluids feel like a supporting character. Plus, even if the majority of the film was dogshit, the naked fight in the bathhouse would still bump it up to canonical. Legit one of the best sequences ever put on film. One word review: OUCH.
Watched on blu-ray