This time we also get a surrogate on the inside, mob enforcer Nikolai (Viggo Mortensen), who literally carries a history of violence on his back. All you need to know is this: two Chechen gangsters enter a Turkish bathhouse to take out a mobster they mistakenly think is Mortensen’s character, Nikolai. Mortensen, for his part, has never held back when it comes to nudity on screen. Eastern Promises' is available to stream at SBS On Demand. The specifics of the plot aren’t needed to break down this particular cinematic moment, and in fact it’s almost better if you don’t know them. British screenwriter Steven Knight did what he does better than almost anyone else in the business, and that was craft an intricate, authentic and complex world of crime (see also: Peaky Blinders, Taboo, Dirty Pretty Things and Locke). His nude fight scene in a steam room was applauded by Roger Ebert: "Years from now, it will be referred to as a benchmark." Right up there with Raging Bull only even better.%0D %0D I loved the Errol Flynn swordfighting!%0D %0D Got to give a nod to Viggo in Eastern Promises, too.%0D %0D %0D Consistent with the trademark violence in much of Cronenberg's work, Eastern Promises features a graphically violent fight scene in a steam bath where the combatants wield linoleum knives. The two assailants – both dressed head-to-toe in black leather, one standing at 6.5ft – search for Nikolai in the bathhouse as the movie enters its final third. They were the most realistic fight scenes I have ever seen. More for Eastern Promises. Mortensen's latest movie is the David Cronenberg-directed "Eastern Promises" (in theaters September 14), and his turn as a Russian mob man in the thriller has many talking Oscar. All of the great movies have them; a scene that’s instantly unforgettable and leaps out at a viewer as the one that is discussed around the water cooler when talking about the film. “I knew that it was going to end up being a bloody mess. For the bathhouse fight scene, the scene was choreographed with the actors instead of stuntmen. Eastern Promises is a fascinating case of a film made under the intense gaze of a supreme auteur and written by the separate but equally potent hand of a writer. Sure, he had worked on James Bond movies and Braveheart, but he had never coordinated a fight scene where one of the players is completely naked. It would be the first of three collaborations between the veteran filmmaker and Mortensen, and an uncharacteristically normal movie for someone who once made Naked Lunch and Videodrome. John McClane or Rambo might take 20 hits and keep moving, but it’s Nikolai’s vulnerability – and Mortensen's willingness to play ball – that make Eastern Promises’ sauna fight scene truly iconic. The Chechens attack, thinking Nikolai is Kirill, but Nikolai kills them both, ending up in the hospital with severe wounds.Eastern Promises is a 2007 gangster film directed by David Cronenberg, from a screenplay written by Steven Knight. Viggo Mortensen, the actor who became a household name after he played kingly, sword-wielding Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, is generating buzz again - this time for what he's not wearing in Eastern Promises. Lots of tongues wagging this week about how Viggo Mortensen‘s naked knife fight in Eastern Promises heralds a new era of male full … Eastern Promises 2 is reportedly on the way after spending years in development limbo. Viggo Mortensen can, and few who have seen Eastern Promises could argue that he didn’t deserve it. Viggo Mortensen, the dashing Aragorn in 'Lord of the Rings', has filmed the most talked-about fight scene of the decade in his latest film, David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises. Continuity mistake: When Nikolai and Semyon are drinking vodka during the diary exchange, Semyon empties his glass, but when he puts it back on the table it is full. SBS World Movies Weekly Highlights: 25 - 31 January, SBS World Movies Weekly Highlights: 18 - 24 January, SBS World Movies – January Summer of Discovery Weekends, Explore the Summer of Discovery on SBS World Movies, The most watched movies of 2020 now streaming at SBS On Demand. What Eastern Promises deals in is humanity and how it is a senseless, jolting dance at times and a ballet at others. The idea of having your hero fight two knife-wielding killers naked is a hard sell but both Cronenberg and Mortenson carry it off perfectly. While a majority of Eastern Promises’ locations were real places repurposed for the production’s needs, a set was built specifically for the bathhouse scene and based on London’s Ironmonder Row Baths, which were first opened in the 1930s. Retroactive Recognition: Maester Luwin and Pyp.
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