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Movie Reviews
by Jonathan McKee

History of Violence, A (3/14/2006)

Rated R for strong brutal violence, graphic sexuality, nudity, language and some drug use.

Directed by David Cronenberg (Naked Lunch, The Fly, Dead Ringers…)
Starring Viggo Mortensen, Ed Harris, William Hurt…


Jonathan's Rating: Skip it

This film’s tagline is that "everyone has something to hide…" I guess that means everyone BUT the director, David Cronenberg… because he shows it all.

Is the film intriguing? Yes…I was caught by the preview alone. The story is about Tom, a small time diner owner (Mortensen), protecting his family. When two murderous criminals enter his diner, he easily disarms them and violently kills them both. This draws a lot of press, and before long some mafia characters (Ed Harris…) show up claiming that Tom is really “Joey” a mobster from Philly. Good storyline. Tom denies these allegations but has to face the mob to protect his family. Actually, he has to blow out the back of some of their skulls so we can see how cool that looks! As the violence gets more intense… more of Tom’s history is revealed. (Actually, Viggo reveals a little more than just his history!)

If the title doesn’t tell you enough, just read why the MPAA rated it R. I didn’t and only lasted through half the film. I left during the violent sex scene on the stairway…(Of course I had chose a seat against the wall in the theatre and had to scootch past 12 people to get out…can you spell AWKWARD?)

Cronenberg is known for “going there.” He can’t just imply that something happens, he has to show you each gruesome aspect. He can’t just imply that a married couple has sex, he shows you every detail. (Ever blushed in a movie theatre?) Some critics say this is “disturbing realism.” Personally, I think that David is a pervert that needs to have his cranium checked.

My friend assures me that the ending of this film was really good. Even if it is, you have to wade through a pool of crap to get there. Sorry.. skip this one.

SHOULD KIDS SEE IT?
I shouldn’t have even seen it!

Side Note:
As said above, we recommend you skip this film. But on the occasion that your teen actually has already seen it, you may want to dialogue about the film with them. These questions below may be a help to you.


Conversation Starter
Three Simple Questions (with Answers You May Be Looking for):

  1. What are some of the messages or themes you observed in this movie?


  2. How do you suppose we—as serious Christ-followers—should react to this movie?


  3. How can we move from healthy, Bible-based opinions about this movie to actually living out those opinions?




Jonathan McKee Jonathan McKee, president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over a dozen books including the new Get Your Teenager Talking, The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket, The Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide for Teenager, and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers, Connect: Real Relationships in a World of Isolation, and the 10-Minute Talks series. Jonathan speaks and trains at conferences, churches and events across North America, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan and his wife Lori, and their three teenagers Alec, Alyssa and Ashley live in California.



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