I'm probably the last person to see History of Violence starring Viggo Mortensen and Maria Bello. Checked out the DVD and watched it last night. I thought there were several flaws in the story line as presented in the movie, but that just may be me. For instance, if known "bad men" kidnapped my son and my husband did whatever was necessary to get the son back and make sure those men didn't come after the family again, I don't think I'd immediately begin spewing venom and hatred at that man because he had lied to me about his true identity and personality - because he too was one of those "bad men."
The movie makers take pains to present a couple in love after 17 years of marriage. Seventeen years in which he was a great husband and father and a pillar of the community. When he reacted with violence to save the people in his diner, he did so because he recognized the men who had come in. He once had been just like them. Instinctual knowledge and instinctive survival skills may be buried, but they're still there.
Oddly enough, I found myself thinking about the movie hours after I'd watched it. Maybe because it had one of those ambiguous endings. Was Tom evil, and evil never dies? Or was he redeemed by his own efforts to leave his evil self behind when he created a new identity? Was it pure evil that sent him to Philly to find closure with his brother, a mob boss? Or was it the certain and sure knowledge that if he didn't go, his brother and his goons would come looking for him, placing his family in peril again?
Maybe I'm over thinking what was supposed to be an action thriller about an apparent common man with uncommon survival skills. Maybe the movie makers or the writers of the book wanted to make people obsess about the subject.
Guess I'll have to read the book History of Violence by Vince Locke with art by John Wagner to find out.
Sometimes movies do spur book sales. Probably only in us over-thinkers though.