This movie is odd. On one hand I got the feeling it doesn’t promote violence, but rather seems to say that those who live by it, will die by it. The actions sequences aren’t made to be entertaining (at least not in the sense of vast, drawn out action sequences), they are over very fast and true to the name of the movie, very violent. Not violent in that many gallons of blood gush around the screen, but violent in the way that you feel like, “Ouch, that must have hurt like hell” while watching. And yet, while violence is what the main character is trying to avoid, it’s also his (and his son’s) uncanny ability to be extremely violent, when it’s needed, that saves him.
I also liked how unpredictable the movie was at times. For a long time I thought that everything really was a mistake. Mortensen’s acting really pulled that off. Then I thought this one guy would be there until the end. Well, wrong again. Sure, the second time around this doesn’t work as well, but other aspects make it very re-watchable for me.
There’s a certain mood to the movie, hard to find a word for it. Contemplative, maybe. Ambiguous of it’s own nature. It’s not a thriller or action movie, and those expecting one will be sorely disappointed. But it’s an interesting one, where the overall theme and the main story don’t hinder each other, but complement each other perfectly.