A History of Violence

Modern-day heroics, check. Rousing pseudo-period music, check. Brooding-faced foreign actor with hairy-but-not-too-pubey-and-contoured-but-not-too-chiselled pecks, check. General air of elision, understatement and mystery, check. Occasional but hardcore bouts of messy red violence, check. Bruising angry confused stairway sex, check.

Ah, A History of Violence. I so should have loved it.

It starts great: a perfect little cliched family panting for the iconoclasm of a worthy film to come and shatter the Dream. Then when Viggo kills the baddies in his cornfed freerange blackcoffee applepie diner, you go: is he an assassin with a secret past life? and you're surprised, watching his smug, calm self-possession, by how unexciting this prospect is.

Then instantly afterwards: yes, he is. Next scene: yes, he definitely is. Next scene: yup. Next scene: uh-huh, he still so obviously is. Next scene: is that leftover pudding in the fridge? Oh, it's the end. And he was.

(Oh, sorry, 'spoiler alert').