Based on an acclaimed graphic novel, the story deals with a schitzo with two personalities (played by Viggo Mortensen), one personality being Tom Stall, a mild-mannered father and businessman who is thrown into the spotlight after an act of violent self-defense. When this happens, psycho mob enforcer Carl Fogarty (played by a frightening Ed Harris) comes to town looking for Mortensen’s second personality, Joey Cusack, an expert killer. Having to expose himself to his family and admit his dark past, it’s up to Tom/Joey to set things right, sadly involving more violence, for better or worse. David Cronenberg has always been one of the most adult filmmakers in horror, and this could be classified as horror, make no mistake, but not your typical kind. The script is flawless, being both realistic, yet exciting and dynamic. Cronenberg is at the top of his game, this being his best film since Crash and Videodrome. The acting is genius in most parts, such as Viggo who downplays his role in both roles, but it’s Maria Bello who steals the film as his wife, who’s reality is shattered and is forced to question the love she has for her man after finding out about his lies. Bello is definitely one of the most talented actresses today, and it’s a shame she’s not used as often. Sadly William Hurt, as mob boss Richie Cusack, doesn’t fare so well, his acting being a little over-the-top and not in a good way. Still, excepting that small flaw this film is definitely excellent and quite underrated.
Did I mention Maria Bello is naked in it, too? If that doesn’t make you like the film, nothing else will.